May 9, 2023

Transform Trauma to Love Yourself with Blaise Kennedy

Welcome to the Think Unbroken Podcast with Blaise Kennedy, where we explore the transformative power of healing from past traumas to cultivate a deeper sense of self-love... See show notes at:

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Welcome to the Think Unbroken Podcast with Blaise Kennedy, where we explore the transformative power of healing from past traumas to cultivate a deeper sense of self-love and self-acceptance. Blaise, a licensed therapist and trauma expert, brings her years of experience and compassionate approach to guide listeners through the process of healing and growth.

In each episode, Blaise shares her insights, strategies, and tools to help you navigate the journey of healing from trauma, overcoming self-doubt, and learning to love yourself. Whether you're struggling with anxiety, depression, or any other emotional challenges that stem from trauma, this podcast provides a safe and supportive space to explore your healing journey.

From mindfulness practices to embodiment exercises, each episode offers actionable steps that empower you to transform your trauma and embrace your full potential. Join us on this transformative journey and start living a life filled with self-love, inner peace, and resilience. Don't forget to subscribe and leave a review to support us in spreading the message of healing and self-love to others.

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Learn how to heal and overcome childhood trauma, narcissistic abuse, ptsd, cptsd, higher ACE scores, anxiety, depression, and mental health issues and illness. Learn tools that therapists, trauma coaches, mindset leaders, neuroscientists, and researchers use to help people heal and recover from mental health problems. Discover real and practical advice and guidance for how to understand and overcome childhood trauma, abuse, and narc abuse mental trauma. Heal your body and mind, stop limiting beliefs, end self-sabotage, and become the HERO of your own story. 

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Michael: Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well wherever you are in the world today. Very excited to be joined by my guest who is a consciousness and trauma educator – Blaise Kennedy. My friend, how are you today? What is happening in your world?

Blaise: Well, I'm doing very well. I'm happy to be here, and I've just finished working my day of working with people and transitioning right into sharing my experience and story with you, it all feels very natural.

Michael: Yeah. I'm really excited to have you here. Your background, it's weird to say, seems like a perfect fit for the podcast, but I'd be remiss if I didn't say that. And so I'd love if you could give us a little bit of context about your story and your journey and what has led you to hear today?

Blaise:  Well, it's been a full life, let's see where I can start this story. I'm a Canadian by birth, spent most of my life, grew up in Vancouver, Canada. My parents were separated very early, but I had loving relationships with both my mother and my father. I lived in the normal society with the normal choices and the normal opportunities that we all get. I was really into hockey, sports when I was a kid, I loved to play. I had a lot of friendships. And I saw myself becoming one of the things that young men become in Western society going to college or being an athlete, or doing something great and meaningful in the array of choices that we had in western civilization. And when I was 12 years old, my father died quite unexpectedly and this obviously was devastating to me, I can speak more about that later, I spent a lot of time feeling into this, but I just sort of tried to carry on. You know, no one in my world really knew what it meant for me or what to do, it certainly not myself or my mother. I just tried to continue living my life and just keep moving forward, and I had a lot of challenges after that. I had challenges before that, but I definitely had challenges after that. I couldn't focus really on anything. I couldn't commit to anything. I lied chronically pretty much about everything. I started to have problems with drugs. And the further I went through my teenage years, the more trouble I got into. I got a lot of what's wrong with you? Why? You have a lot of potential. Why aren't you living it? And I didn't know. I had no idea. I couldn't sort of connect the dots. I just thought there was something wrong with me, or I need to be more motivated. I wasn't trying hard enough where I just hadn't found the right thing. But as my teenagers, I just see collecting failures and became less and less optimistic about my life in general. I got into more serious trouble with drugs, and ultimately I got sent to a rehab facility when I was 24 for drug addiction.

And I remember very clearly when I got taken to treatment, my stepfather drove me. And I remember driving on the way thinking like, I've ruined my whole life like I'm such a loser, I've wasted my whole life. And I got to treatment and the treatment facility was filled with people in similar positions with me. But some of them were 60, and they were just figuring out what to do about their addiction. And what I realized is I actually kinda had a backwards. I have my whole life ahead of me, and I have a chance to really figure out how to live life. You know, up until the time I went to treatment again, I just tried to move forward. I didn't have any self-reflective capacity. I think in general, children don't, it's a developmental thing. They don't have the ability to contemplate their life strategies. So, when I was 24, I was really just beginning the ability to make adult mature evaluations on who I was, who I wanted to be, and what strategies I could use to get there.

So, as I went to treatment, I started to realize, actually it's not as bad as I thought. This life has done me a tremendous favor by getting me to this point very early and even more interesting than that. I love the process of discovering myself. I didn't know that, you know, I'd spent so much of my life moving away from myself, moving away from my body and my feelings, and the whatever was true and authentic to me, for me, towards some better experience of me that was somewhere in the future or lay when I accomplished something, or if I had better social experiences or whatever. I'd never considered that a sort of deep understanding and journey into myself would be interesting. And so, when I went to treatment, they sort of forced that they're very good in treatment facilities for helping hold a mirror up too. And I loved it. I realized that I had a lot of capacity, all my intelligence could be put towards understanding myself, feeling myself, and understanding myself. And I think the first thing that I think of the most is when I was in treatment and one day it was a lot of group therapy and this counselor, I don't know what I'd said, but it was something that I made some comment about life or something and he said; you know, Blaise, that's really clever. Maybe you could put that in a book someday, but can you tell me, how do you feel right now? And I remember this wave of embarrassment came over me ‘cuz I realized that I was just saying things. I actually had no idea how I felt. And as the embarrassment passed, what remained is just as curiosity, how do I not know how I feel? That just seemed odd for me for the first time. How am I supposed to make evaluations or involve my life or be in relationship with others or know myself or claim to be being honest if I don't know how I feel.

And so, as I started to notice this, I realized I've been actively avoiding how I feel my entire life and I realized that is a terrible strategy. I just became really clear to me. And so just like there was an episode of Seinfeld whereGeorge Costanzarealized that if he just did the exact opposite of what he'd been doing, he would've success in life. Similarly, I just decided, what if I was just honest? What if I just used my time and attention to discover what was true and to tell people that? And that's what treatment's all about is getting honest about your life. And I discovered several things, one is that it was really effective. I felt good about myself when I was honest as well, and I found it fascinating, it was the most interesting thing that I could be doing with my life and I was kind of hooked. And as I became honest with myself more and more, I realized it wasn't that there was something wrong with me or there I was deficient or broken in some way. What I realized is there were things that had happened to me that had caused me to be the way I was. This is a sort of a conclusion that I reached, and I encourage people to recognize if you are not living your highest potential, it's because something happened, it's not your fault, it's not that you are not working hard enough. Something happened that you've had to cope or learn to deal with life in a suboptimal way. I started to feel what happened. I started to recognize, to be able to feel my life, and I came to see that, you know, by feeling my truth, by feeling what had happened to me. I could correct the coping strategies and I could move towards a better life. There was really no barrier in front of me anymore I couldn't fail, all I had to do was be honest and see how things actually worked and I fell in love with it. And that was 13 years ago, I just have taken it deeper and deeper since, you know, the life that I lived before treatment, the worst part about it was that I felt like I was sort of on the sidelines. Like I wasn't really trying, I had just had the sense like I wasn't going in the right direction or I wasn't living with courageously, or I was tentative. I was like on the sidelines. Once I realized that just inner exploration was my solution, I haven't had that problem since and I just have taken it as far as I possibly can and now, I sort of support others to do that.

Michael: Yeah, that's a beautiful story, man. And the thing that comes to mind to me, one is like I get it, like, and one of the most difficult parts of this entire journey for me has been around honesty, you pointed to that. Most people, and I certainly did not recognize nor understand that I became a compulsive liar so that I felt safe. So, that I felt connections, so that I felt like people would like me and it does the f*** polar opposite, right? And people are like, who are you? What is going on? And I think the part that became most abundantly clear to me was that it was like I was seeking an identity with no framework, no map, no guidance, no coaching, no mentorship. And when you're so young, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 18 even in your twenties, like you're still developing, your brain is still going through and measuring its environment and trying to make meaning, and you're doing whatever you have to do to survive. And having a loss is such a big, I mean, you can see this in the literature and the research I know we'll talk about this a little bit more. But loss affects you to this place where dissociation can be so grandiose in this, such this experience that suddenly you're in Lala land all the time. I resonated deeply, deeply with something that you just said that I've actually, and all the people I've ever interviewed, I've never heard anyone say this, but I always thought this, I was like, I feel like I'm just talking. Like it felt like that so free. I was like, I'm just saying words. And I remember I was in therapy, I was 29, I might have been 30 somewhere in this window, I'd been going to therapy for a couple years, I've been doing the work for a while. And my therapist was like, how do you feel? And I was like, what kind of stupid question is that? I was like, what are you asking me? Like what do I feel? What are you talking about, man? And I've come to realize like feeling is a part of life. You have to be able to feel the good, the bad, the happy, the sad, all of the elements in which the emotions exist in the spectrum of the universe that we live in ‘cuz that's the thing that makes you a human. It's not the cars and the clothes and the money and the s*x and the drugs, even though those things are really fun, until you understand that they're not fulfilling. Right? It's how do I feel? How do I show up? And so, I'm curious and you trace back and you go, look at these moments. For me, drugs were the only time I ever actually felt alive. What was it like for you?

Blaise: Yeah, it was really similar. I just wanna just go back to something you said no map, that's exactly what it's like. You know, when I school sports even around my parents, what I discovered later is none of these people or institutions really understood how a human being functioned or what the source of wellbeing was or how to move in that direction. So, you know, when we talk about trauma, some of trauma is that there are people like myself and maybe you who've had particularly traumatic experience, but I would extend from my perspective now, trauma is something that our whole culture lives within that we are all ignorant to. So, when myself or you experienced severe trauma, there's no one who has a map of, there wasn't, at least it's changing, but there was no one in my world who had a map of healing from trauma ‘cuz no one was doing it. You know, I never saw anyone heal from anything until I was 24. I'd never seen anybody feel their emotions, be honest, and have that workout for them in a transformative or positive way. I don't have any memory of that. So, of course I didn't have a map. You know, tthere was no payoff for me, to be honest, emotionally and vulnerably, ‘cuz I didn't see that happening in my world. Who would I have followed? Who would I have learned that from? Maybe moments here and there, but on the whole, what I saw was that when people had feelings, generally they couldn't deal with them, they would project them onto other people and it would cause great difficulty. And so, my whole world de-incentivize me telling the truth. There was a time in which that didn't even seem like an option or direction, there was no, that wasn't even a door that I would've considered until I went to a treatment. And there are people who had learned to do something different and could show me the way. But you had a question, something about what were the moments in my life in particular? Is that a good question?

Michael: Yeah. I was asking you about your relationship with drugs as such a young age.

Blaise: Oh! I remember the first time that I ever used drugs and I remember smoking pot and I remember how much I enjoyed the feeling of presence. It wasn't just the pleasure of it, it wasn't just the escape of it. It was like a spiritual experience; it was a heightened state of perception it was everything. It wasn't just that I didn't feel my pain, it was that like I could look at trees and grass and I was really feeling and relating to them, it made meaning of my experience of life. And nobody again had told me there's no map that says, hey, look, there's this thing called consciousness. Actually, if you heal from your trauma, life feels like that. That's something that you can actually move towards, that wasn't something on my radar. So, I used drugs because they were really interesting, it was fascinating, I loved it. And what I found was though, that the more that I use drugs, the less sensitivity and capacity I had when I wasn't using drugs, that's a great cost to using drugs. And so, the worse my life got, the more I would turn to drugs to put me in states that were interesting, the more I did that, the worse my life got, the worse my life got, the more I would turn to drugs and it got outta control. You know, I had moments where I would see this pattern as a teenager and I would stop, I would try to go clean and I tried to go to college for a period of time, but I couldn't sustain anything. I had no functional skills of how to be motivated or disciplined. I didn't make any underlying changes. I just tried to stop using drugs and I would fail, and then I would have to kind of go even deeper into drug use to get out of that.

But the last year right before I went to treatment, I started using other drugs like cocaine and Oxycontin and ecstasy, and I met a bunch of people in the sort of party world. And to this day, I would say that was one of the better years of my life because I was so frozen, I was so deeply stuck. The drugs actually did help me in a very destructive way, they opened me up to all kinds of things that I wouldn't have found on my own. Again, there was a great cost, so, but by the time, I went to treatment, I started to realize I want that living experience, but it's not in drugs; drugs are actually a dead end. Every time you use drugs, you actually feel less alive, you have to use more and more. And I realized this doesn't go anywhere, you know, I'd already kind of almost maxed it out. I was taking drugs that were very dangerous and I realized this just doesn't go anywhere.

And I remember I had a friend who was into spirituality at the time, and he started to talk about it. And I remember thinking one day, this must be what I'm actually seeking, it's just a meaningful experience of life. Maybe I just have to try spirituality, I mean, that just seems like the only thing that's left for me, you know, at that point I wasn't thinking about my career or relationships or I'd kind of done with life and civilization. I was still chasing that pure, alive, meaningful experience that I had from drugs. And somehow, I got it in my head and my being consciousness and spirituality would do that. And I remember when I went to treatment, I thought to myself, you know, if I have to give up drugs, if I have to give this thing that's clearly the most interesting thing that I've ever done, I have to trade that for something like, you can't just take that away from me. You know, I get some dead-end job and have a meaningless life, I really have to work to find a substitute. There's a real need to feel alive and I have found that consciousness and spirituality is a much better direction, much more for so many reasons for that and I've never really wanted to use drugs since.

Michael: That's really beautiful. I think about my experience and dude, I relate to what you said so much, the first time I got high, I was 12 years old and the sun was shiny and the sky was blue, and like, it felt like the closest thing to God or heaven or love ever until it didn't. And you know what, it turned into this like darkness, right? This darkness that started consuming me because I started selling drugs in my community, I got kicked outta high school for selling drugs, the same reason I don't have a high school diploma to this day, they actually gave me one, they were like, we're done with you. Let the streets sort it out from here. And I remember just watching my friends die, watching my family, I have family in prison for life, watched my mother overdose and it was like, but yet I still kept moving towards it, I kept going and touching it constantly ‘cuz I was like, man, this moment, this feeling, this disconnection from reality feels so much better, so much better than the world that I live in, and it was like lie after lie after lie. I want to go into this ‘cuz I think this is really, really f*** important. I don't think people talk about this enough, but how did honesty change your life?

Blaise: Well, the first thing that I would say from here, my perspective on it today, is that lying distorts your experience of reality, it has an effect on your experience of reality. When you say things that aren't in line with what's happening in your nervous system, you create a distortion in your experience of consciousness and of life. So, I started to tell the truth because I was really stuck and I had to get out of it, that was where, well, it was more than that, but that was a lot of the pressure was coming from that. Part of the pressure too was I started to realize that there is another way, and I couldn't have necessarily put my finger on it, but I thought there's some spiritual journey that I must go on, and I just sort of recognized that honesty was a part of it. But honesty isn't just like, what did I do today and what's the reality of my experience of drugs. Being honest was to really acknowledge how sensitive I was. When I was growing up, sensitivity was like a ball and chain, sensitivity was a scourge, it was a problem. You know, what am I going to do? A great example is you're in high school, or as in my case, my father dies. What am I going to do about the fact that I'm so sensitive? Like it's a burden, like it's something that I have to protect myself from, I have to move away from.

So, what I realized is honesty is really indulging moving towards uplifting, allowing my sensitivity to live and flourish, sensitivity is not meant to be managed. It's meant to be invited, open to, and developed. It's a form of intelligence. And so, what happen for me is the more that I did that, I realized that living my life, like feeling my moment to every moment of my life, from my sensitivity, that was my replacement for that feeling that you describe getting high. Instead of covering that over constantly and managing it, I was going to do the opposite. I was going to clarify my sensitivity and I was going to feel as deeply and as much as possible. And there's a tremendous amount of pain and emotional pain that comes with that. But the feeling of aliveness that I started to experience was intoxicating like I couldn't believe that I'd been moving away from this my whole life. I just felt alive, I felt good about being me and not because I improved myself or because I had a better life than I did, but because I was using my body as it was designed to be used. You know, if you take a really sensitive instrument and you mistreat it, I don't know, like your iPhone, if you just smash your iPhone, you don't use it the way it's supposed to be used. It's not gonna function very well. It's gonna go, what's wrong with my iPhone? But you take care of it. If you use it in the way it's designed to do, it's gonna work perfectly. So, I sort of realized that my body's actually designed to feel, that's what this whole thing is about, it's about feeling and honesty, speaking to people, telling people how I felt was a way to refine my instrument. Instead of sensitivity being a problem, it was actually a way to access my intelligence, a higher sense of consciousness and I experienced this really dramatically. And I went to treatment they said, you know, seems like your relationship with your father has had a big part in your addiction. Why don't you start to talk about it? Sammy ran a letter to him. I think it was the first time, and I remember as I was writing and reading this letter, I was crying, but the thing that was amazing about it was I felt like I was 12 years old, it was like my father died. I found a way to stop time, my body just stopped its natural process and then 12 years later I started to feel again, it was like no time had been left off. It was like those 12 years of being frozen I didn't even my pain hadn't gone anywhere. It had just been waiting for me to feel it, and I was shocked by this. I thought I had moved on, I thought 12 years had gone by and I'd gone over it or something like that. But when I started to listen to my body, I realized it's not like that at all, my body had, it's been like holding its breath, emotionally speaking, since the moment he had died. And I started to recognize there this whole human body thing works in a very different way than I had considered, and I just tried to figure out how do I optimize it? How do I use it and be with it in a way that it's actually designed to? And I realized that if you feel, if you learn how to feel and communicate and be in connection while you feel. Your body's trying to thrive, like your body is actually designed naturally to live at a higher state of consciousness, to live at your highest potential, to do good your body's not trying to hurt you. You know your sensitivity is not a ball and chain around your foot, it's the opposite. My inability to be with myself was what was my problem. So, I just dug into that and it just went deeper and deeper and deeper and my experience of being alive just got more and more high definition.

And at some point, I wondered like, how far can you take this? Like, how alive can you feel? How much can you heal from the past? How present and conscious and embodied can someone be? And it just became my living question. My body was very happy to indulge that, my body was like, if you want to know the answer to that question, I would be happy to show you. I will keep bringing up feelings from the past until you can't handle it anymore, and I'll just keep doing it and doing it and doing it and doing it, and you'll get your answer. And so, I learned to just go with that, kind of tip me to where I am now.

Michael: Yeah, that's so much of it. So many things have come to mind as you're speaking, but one thing that came to mind is this concept, I think about quite frequently, how we are both the cause and the solution to all of the chaos of our life. And this concept around truth and honesty is so incredibly important. And I asked you that question because the number one value in my life is honesty above everything and that became the cornerstone of me being who I am today. And part of the difficulty and honesty is reconciliation, right? I don't know about you, but dude, I had to give you f**** h*ll and back when I started being honest, because it was like there's a lot of ships to bring back to shore, there's a lot of bridges to fix. But most importantly, there were a lot of moments within myself where I had to come to reality. And I don't mean reality that I wanted, but the reality that I had created and that sucked like a lot. And I think about how bad that sucked and I'm so f*** glad like every single day of my life, I am so glad that I made those decisions to step into honesty. And to feel into my body and to ask the questions and to be truthful. And look, I'm not perfect, I f*ck up all the time, but I really try my best to make sure I leverage this thing about honesty and truthfulness because then I can keep the reality that I'm choosing to move towards every day incongruence with the idea of the person I believe that I can be. But part of the problem with this and I'm not sure if you faced this dilemma at first for me, it felt unknown. So, when I made this decision, we're talking almost 13-years ago, right? It's similar, it's kind of eerie the window we're in together, right? So, I'm sitting here 13 years ago, rock bottom, Unbroken Nation, I know you guys have heard this story a million times, but I want to create context. I'm at rock bottom, I'm 350 pounds, smoking two packs a day, drinking myself to sleep, my girlfriend has left me ‘cuz I'm cheating on her. My car got repoed. I'm $50,000 in debt even though I had made a million dollars, my little brother says, never talk to me again, you're not my brother. And on this one particular Saturday morning, I'm lying in bed, smoking a joint, eating chocolate cake and watching the CrossFit games, and that is the life of a liar. And so, I'm curious for people who are hearing this, and they're like, yeah, I would love that, I would love to this idea Blaise, to like be honest and have consciousness and to do all these things that you're talking about that seems so magical, but yet so far removed from me. Like where do they start? I think every step that you take is an important step. I do not like creating hierarchies and steps because it seems chaotic, I think every fucking step matters. But where do you start to get into honesty?

Blaise: Well, yeah, the first part's pretty important, it's pretty essential. I want to just go back to something you said I'll get to your question in a roundabout way. You said we are both the cause and the solution to all of our problems. And as I began treatment, I still didn't understand trauma very well, it was a word that wasn't used in treatment a lot, they were asking similar questions, but didn't understand it very well. I've gone on to take a very personal deep dive and studied it in as many ways they possibly could. And what I would say now about trauma is being dishonest with ourself or leaving our bodies or moving away from our feelings or avoiding the truth is a life-saving measure that we do because the reality we are experiencing is overwhelming. So as much as lying is a problem, or being dishonest is a problem, it's also the solution. So, when you look around, when I look at the round at the world now, it just like it was for me. I don't see a bunch of people who weren't working very hard, it's almost the opposite. I see a bunch of people who are working very hard, but because of the nature of trauma, they can't feel the energy that they're expending to avoid themselves, they can't experience that because that's the nature of trauma is we expend energy to suppress what's happening in our nervous system, and then we separate from it.

So, when people don't know how they feel or they're not able to have healthy relationships, or they're not able to do what's in their best interest, for me, this is not because they just don't have enough motivation or because they're not good people or it's because they have experienced trauma in their life and they are really stuck in the symptoms of trauma. And so, for me, how I got out of that was with some desire, I had some amount of desire, some amount of willingness and a lot of support. I had a lot of support. I had a lot of people either holding my feet to the fire or showing me the way or holding me when I affirming me when I did the right thing. I had a lot of support and I didn't know it was going to work. And I basically had mentors that said, Hey look, this works. Try it. Try it and see for yourself if it works. And they would hold my hand through the process, they would say, no, that doesn't feel, that's not it. Try again. And then I would do it they see, yes, see? See how good that feels when you don't have to carry that burden anymore? And I learned by being around people who are further than me.

So, if somebody, if I was talking to the you from 13 years ago or the me from 13 years ago, my advice would not be just try harder to be honest and do something radically different from what you've known your whole life. Figure it out yourself. I would say go be around the people who understand the problem as deeply as possible, and who have experienced them and the most amount of personal transformation. Get as close to those people as you possibly can. And recovery is a great start. It was a great start for me because there are people in recovery rooms who know a lot about the problem and I hate used to go to AA meetings and the things people would say that in meetings people don't even bat an eyelash at. You know, like people tell the worst stories about what they've done and the room just says it's okay. Right. It became in those rooms, I started to witness there is a currency to being honest. And this culture of people recognizes that and they will affirm you even if you don't know if it's going to work yourself, you need to be around people who are going to affirm when you're doing things the work and who are going to help you see when you're not and are going to support you through those early years where you don't know if this is actually going to be transformative. And what happens over time is as you start to see this work, you can put your foot on the gas, you can start to drive your experience a little more consciously. You can start to consider your life strategies and you have a memory or a felt sense of what works and what your body wants. This distortion between what you think and what you feel starts to resolve itself more and more, and you can start of trust yourself that there is a direction, you can feel it and you can navigate towards that. But the early stage, you know, in treatment, they would basically say you have to hand your life over to people. And they're saying, you have no experience of success in this. You cannot be the judge of where you should be going. You need to sort of turn your life over to a higher power in a community. That's a very hard thing to hear. But they make a good case for it, right? They say like, look at the state of your life. And eventually, you know, addicts go, yeah, you know, I can see that. But many people who have trauma aren't addicts who are going to treatment. What do these people do? How do they find something just sort of a larger intelligence that they can scaffold their life with, or a mentorship program that can support them to make these changes? Or who can they watch that really knows how to do something different?

When I think about what I want to do in the world, I've helped individuals at many different levels, people with very different ambitions, whether they want to be, you know, their deep and spiritual path, or whether they suffer just specifically from the effects of trauma and I've worked with groups of people who, your therapists or spiritual seekers who want to take this really far and what I've recognized is the most useful thing that I can do in the this world is create culture, and that's what you're doing, that's what you're doing. This is a cultural change that needs to occur, it's not up to the individual to change the reality that they live in, if they could do that, they would. What's really needed is for our world to stop producing people who are so disconnected from themselves, right? Generation after generation of people who are born into trauma and get lost and sucked into it and have children from that state, that needs to change, and that's not an individual problem, that's a collective problem. And so, if you are someone who's trying to make a change in your life, my recommendation would be get as close to the people who recognize that and are trying to make as collective change as possible. Stay close to them and figure out what they did and get them to listen to you, share your troubles with them. Make as many mistakes along the path of healing as you can. Look at what works, be around people who can really help you figure out what works and what doesn't, just get involved with people who can help you figure it out. Don't do it privately. That's the number one thing, piece of advice I would give you. Don't make your healing process a private journey. When you express things and look at them when they're outside of you, when you share them with a therapist or a friend who is knowledgeable or you work through it in, once it's outside of you, you'll be able to see it much more clearly when we try to figure it out from just looking internally at ourself alone, we don't get the same perspective on it, that the perspective that we really need. So, make a mess, go find people who will take that on with you.

Michael: Yeah. And what's interesting about that is, well, a lot of things come to mind yet again here, which I love, I hate to use this f*** word, but synergy between you and I. And the thing that comes to mind for me, like everything I've attempted to build and in building with Think Unbroken is about one mission;“End Generational Trauma In My Lifetime Through Education And Information”point blank period. That's it. That's why literally at any time I will coach anyone for free at any time around the world because it means that much to me. And I will tell you this every single day that I was by myself trying to do, this is a day that I wasted. Now I say that in with a caveat, and the caveat is that I wouldn't have known that I wasted those days until I got in connection with other people who could show me that my fear of shame, of guilt, of judgment, of all of the things that were embodied in me from childhood of worth and validity and everything that summarized my experience until I was with and in connection with people who could show me that I was not my trauma, the same thing that I attempt to teach people on the daily basis. Nothing was different. Like it is so unequivocally important, there's nothing more important than community. Blaise, I could not agree with you more because I felt so alone. Right. As a kid from the hood with an ACE score of 10, I was like, I'm f*** by myself. Nobody gets this. Nobody understands who could possibly understand my mother cutting my finger off when I'm four years old, right? And these were the thoughts that I was having. And I said to myself, okay, I can leverage this forever. And if I continue to leverage this, I will continue to be alone. And I realized something really important in the transformation at the beginning, the crux, the step one, it was like I'm making excuses for not healing. I'm making excuses. I'm finding every reason to not ask for help. And what's really fascinating is when I really dove into it, I understood, they were indoctrinations, those thoughts weren't even mine. Those thoughts about worth, validity, love, compassion, joy, it had nothing to do with me. It was f**** lies of the matrix of the society that I grew up in that told me that there was not enough. And it was when I got in connection with people who had experienced things like I had experienced, not the same, but like similarly. And they said, well, wait a second, what if you actually made a hard decision despite the things of your past that could potentially make your life better? Would you be willing to face that fear knowing that you had somebody to catch you? Knowing that you were protected and promoted by something greater than just your own ideology about what it means to be you? Because you said something so clear and so abundantly important to me that I have to go back into it. You don't know what it's like to be healed. You don't know what it's like to be healthy. You don't know what it's like to love yourself, to be compassionate, but also to be forceful and go and show up and live your life. And it's not until you have somebody who's like, I will hold your hand and I will walk through this tunnel with you ‘cuz I have been down this path a thousand times, it is not until that moment that your life is different. And so, I just, dude, I could not agree with you more. And I think people are so stuck in the fear of shame and guilt and judgment that is not theirs, that they won't even take the first step. And I hope that they're getting encouragement out of this to know like, dude, you and I are talking about rock bottoms, we're talking about destroying our f*** lives. We're talking about what it's like when you let trauma take control. But we're also talking about the other side.

Blaise: I want to highlight something that you said and or go into it a little more. You said that you would help anyone in the world for free, it's that important to you. And what I think you're talking about, what I hear is that connection is good for us. So, when I connect with people, it actually doesn't matter what they have going on for them. Connection is the state that human beings are supposed to function in. So, when I receive connection from people, it's good for me and when I give my connection to other people, it's also good for me. There's no sacrifice when we talk about intimacy.  Intimacy is a natural state for the human being, it's where we function optimally. So when we recognize that there are these people out there who may know more than us, they may have better experiences, we're not a burden on them, it's the opposite of that. Service is life-affirming for them as much as it's about you healing, it's about them as well. It's their opportunity to be able to give love, share their wisdom, express what they've been through, reflect on their journey, that's good for them. When I work with people, it doesn't cost me anything. I'm not giving something up by being with people, it's the exact opposite of that. So, one of the ways that we could say ending generational trauma is to live in a world where people feel connected that is a full of connection that we will all live in and all benefit from, that is the feeling of being safe of feeling seen, of feeling like you matter.

So, when you say we're inheriting these beliefs to not be connected. Absolutely. We live in a world that is learned, that connections not possible. That deep connection felt sense that you were really here with me and you're really seeing me isn't possible. So, we come to these conclusions like, I shouldn't share, or I'm a burden, or there's something wrong with me, or my reality has to compete with someone else's. But as we go on this journey, we'll come across people like you and I who have recognized something much more important is feeling connected in whatever it is that we experience is healing. It's good for us, it empowers us, it brings more energy into our lives, and rather than being a burden, wherever you are in your journey, the moment that you reach out for help, you are part of the solution, you are participating in a human network of connection that needs to be energized. It needs you. It needs you to share your challenges. It's how this sort of collective human body actually gets energy through it. So, your feelings and your problems, on one hand, they're yours and they happen to you, and that's true. This is part of the fabric of the human experience you participating in your healing is to participate in the human experience in a way that's going to help us end generational trauma. And so, we can learn to actually encourage these people who are really unsure to make their contribution really known. Right? When people come to see me, I go to great length to talk about really how important it is, and this is work that their ancestors were not able to do, this is the work that the people in their community that they grew up around have not been able to do. By sharing your challenges, you're participating in the transformation of the world. And as you go on, you can start to realize, oh, when I have problems, that doesn't make me the problem, that makes me part of the solution, and it's much easier to see yourself as part of the solution and to feel good about the fact that you're taking on your pain that you've really just inherited than it is to think, oh, this is mine, it means something about me. You know, I can't really be connected or seen until this heals. Doesn't work like that. Doesn't work like that.

Michael: Yeah. You cannot escape from the cuts, the burns, the scars, they're there. They're on your body, they're in your soul, but they don't have to define you. And that's the thing that I always hope people take away from these conversations it's like, look, man, life is f*** hard. There are moments, there are periods, there are times where you're just like, all right, God, spirit, universe, what did I do to deserve this? Right? And we have those thoughts, and I don't wanna pretend that we don't. And the healing journey can be cumbersome and exhausting, and at times painful in ways that are actually probably more painful than the experience itself. But the other side of it, man, that moment where you're standing in the kitchen and you're having a cup of tea and the window's open and the breeze is blowing and the birds are chirping, and you're just like in this moment of peace. And you're like, I love myself. I'm good with who I am today. I've let go of this bag of bricks I've been carrying from sh*t I did 25 years ago, that's worth it man. It is worth it to be on the other side of this and to sit here and know, man, I invested everything.

One of the monikers really, it's the cornerstone of my entire life. I made a decision 13-years ago, almost at this point. I said, no excuses just results. What does it take for me to have the life that I want? Now look, this was not the embodiment, like whatever's happening here, this like my life, this was never the game plan. The game plan then was stop f*** my life up every day, that was the whole mission. And so, I said, well, what does it take to make that come to fruition? And I was just like, I'm investing every penny, every hour, every moment, every breath, until I can sit in solidarity and not hate myself for sh*t I didn't do. And reconcile with myself about the things that I had done and realize like, we are infallible, we are human beings, we are going to fall, we are going to falter. Even in this journey, I'm curious if you'll resonate with this even in this journey, all of the work, sometimes I still f*ck up and I'm like, dude, why did you do that? And I'm like, oh yeah, ‘cuz I'm human, and that's okay. And I wish people would give themselves permission to be okay with being human, knowing that they're going to make mistakes and seek the guidance to help the support in the community to pull themselves back up because that's what it takes. And if you leverage excuses and if you leverage all the reasons why you can't have peace and self-love and happiness, that is where you will exist and that breaks my heart because I know if I hate saying this, but I need to say it right now. I know if people like you and me can do this sh*t, anybody can, you just gotta be willing to.

Blaise: And sometimes, you know, that willingness builds over time. A lot of it we get ‘cuz we listen to someone like you and we get a dose of it vicariously and it carries us, it builds over time. The motivation to live, to take on all of this, to really live deeply builds over time and it doesn't take you to easy places, it takes you to difficult places. If it didn't take you to difficult places, somebody would've already done it, but they couldn't do it, that's why you have to do it. You've inherited the pain from the past because other people were not able to do it. So, when it takes you to difficult places, this is your opportunity to be of service life. So absolutely, you're gonna make mistakes. It's designed to challenge you, by its nature. It's going to push you to learn how to relax, to choose the path of truth, of vulnerability, of openness, of courage, when it feels very challenging. And to be able to live in alignment with that is more meaningful to me than avoiding pain. Avoiding pain is a meaningless life but my journey has taken me some very uncomfortable places, sometimes for long periods of time. And I have to say that even at its worst, I prefer that over the meaningless existence of avoidance that I lived even in the best days before, I wouldn't trade it. Really being alive, knowing the purpose of being alive and feeling connected to a life of service, of care for life itself is worth anything to me. There's no cost that I wouldn't pay for that. And that's a kind of freedom to feel that there's nothing that you would give up. There's no candy or easy way that you would take over the life you had, and it builds over time, it builds your capacity, grows, it builds as you become wiser, as you see the truth and inevitability of your path, but also as you look at the world. I mean, the more that you heal, the more you look at the world and realize that what you are doing is necessary. It's absolutely necessary the way you treat other people, the way you treat yourself, the way you treat your children, this is the answer. Everybody needs what you are learning how to do and as you see this, it becomes much bigger than just about sort of your own personal body and life experiences, but about the whole human sort of journey. And again, when we live in community, that can affirm that for us and can support us to take the risks that we need to take and help care for us when we make mistakes or we get overwhelmed, that makes it that much easier.

Michael: One of the things that happens is as you go on this journey, you discover that people are not as bad as you think they are, that the world is not actually evil, even though the media tells us every day that it is and that your neighbor isn't going to murder you, ‘cuz they're probably not. It's like you get to build bond and connection with human beings who the only thing that they want is the same thing that you want. And that's to be sane and to be in connection and to collaborate and to move towards their dreams and to let go of the things that keep them stuck. And I think so much of this is really about the willingness to face that just be like, yeah, it's okay. It's okay that other people wanting to help you. Like, dude, you talk about the most mind-blowing thing I've ever learned in my life. It was like, it's okay if people want to help you. They're not all out to get you, I promise. I know you don't believe me. I know it sounds insane. Not everybody wants to take from you.

Blaise: Yeah, that's all very beautiful and I agree.

Michael: My friend, this has been an absolutely incredible conversation. We will need to do this again for sure, but before we do, can you tell everyone where they can find you and learn more about you?

Blaise: The best place right now is my website, there's links on there and some information about myself and what I do, the programs that I offer. And my project is to take on social media, that's my project, is to create content. It's a big project for a I'm pretty small organization at this point, but that's my goal is to help explain to people to create this community in the world. So, in the coming year, you will see me on Instagram sharing what I think is really most important or Facebook or other social media platforms. But until then, you can go on my website and I offer free events and free consultations, and I have recordings of things that I've done on YouTube and I'd be happy to show you what I think would be the most useful and effective tools and methods to get where you want to go change your life.

Michael: Love it. And of course, we'll put all the links in the show notes.

Guys, go Search Blaise Kennedy to find out more about what he does and to listen to this episode with a lot more information and detail available for you. My friend, my last question for you, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?

Blaise: To sink deeper into yourself and realize that what has happened to you and the pain that you carry is not the fundamental truth of your existence, of your life, of your identity is to take the risk, to move through the pain, to find something that lasts longer and begins before what has happened to you in this life. And it's like passing through clouds, right? When you're in the clouds, you don't know what's going to be on the other side, but if you take the risk to feel and sink through it, you'll discover something that can't be broken, and that's you.

Michael: Hmm. Beautifully said, my friend. Thank you so much for being here.

Unbroken Nation, thank you for listening.

Please like, comment, share, tell a friend.

And remember, every time you share this content, every time that you reach out to someone for help, you're moving forward an ending generational trauma, you're transforming trauma in a triumph, turning those breakdowns into breakthroughs and taking one more step to being the hero of your own story.

And Until Next Time.

My Friends, Be Unbroken.

I'll See You.

Blaise KennedyProfile Photo

Blaise Kennedy

Trauma Educator

Blaise’s work is designed to leverage your curiosity and motivation to realize aspects of consciousness that will transform your experience of yourself, of your reality. This new reality becomes the foundation of your process towards higher states of consciousness and the expression of your highest potential.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.