Human by Design – Interview with Gregg Braden

Human by Design – Interview with Gregg Braden

Gregg Braden is a five-time New York Times best-selling author, and is internationally renowned as a pioneer in bridging science, spirituality and human potential!

A while ago, I met with Gregg and we spoke for about 45 minutes, about his latest book “Human by Design” – From evolution by chance to transformation by choice. Enjoy our interview!

Who are we?

human by design - Gregg Braden | Dirk TerpstraA growing body of evidence suggests that we are the product of something more than random mutations and lucky biology.
But the evidence can only go so far. Fossils, DNA, ancient cave art, and human burial sites can only show us the remnants of what happened in the past.
They cannot tell us why those things happened. Unless we find a way to travel backward in time, the truth is that we may never know the complete WHY of what has made our existence possible.

But maybe we don’t need to know… The undeniable fact is that modern humans appeared on earth 200,000 years ago, and that something happened to make our existence possible.

And whatever that something was, it left us with the extraordinary abilities of intuition, compassion, empathy, love, self healing, and more.
We owe it to ourselves to embrace the body of evidence, the story it tells, and the healing it can bring to our lives….

For the first time in the 300-year-long history of science, we are writing a new human story that gives us a new answer to the timeless question of who we are.

For more more information:

The Little Blue Breathing Book

The Little Blue Breathing Book

“A breathing book? What’s that all about?”  I know, it might sound a bit out there. But it isn’t and I will soon tell you why.

I wasn’t ready

But first this. While I was working on this ebook, I couldn’t help but smile. I used to work for a large financial corporation in Amsterdam. The last thing that was on my mind was breathing or meditation. Are you kidding me!? At that time, I thought I had more important tasks to focus on. Despite the fact that I was often feeling quite stressed – I worked long hours, against tight deadlines and the pressure on my performance as an executive didn’t make my life much easier.

It would be way easier for me now to look back on my life and think: “I wish I had known more about breathing and meditation during a time that it could have served me so well”. I could have known all about it, because the science of the breath is not new. It has been practiced for thousands of years. I just very well know that I just wasn’t ready for this. I perceived myself, and the world around me, in a very different way than I do today – from feeling separate from most people around me, to feeling deeply connected to myself, to humanity in general, and to the universe.

Sometimes we’re just not ready and that’s fine. But life can take a sharp turn.

We don’t always ask for change

Trauma breathing free ebook | Dirk TerpstraDuring a difficult time in my life, when I lost three of my close family members in a relatively short period of time, I was looking to find a way of relaxation and stress reduction.

Many things in life, like grief, are beyond our control. But it is possible for us to calm our state of mind so that we can deal with our emotions in a more healthy way. We can then truly process all that we feel, without being terrorized by the mind. In fact, the daily practice of breathing and meditation has  supported me through this traumatizing time. It has also offered me deep insights of who I truly am and helped me to express my deeper feelings and emotions.

People from all around the world have embraced these tools & techniques. Often in times of stress, anxiety, ADD/ADHD or those suffering from all kinds of trauma, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

So when you meet adversity in life, be open because it wants to tell you something.

Simple breathing

So I have created the Little Blue Breathing Book (FREE download) with some very simple, scientifically proven, tools and techniques. They help reduce stress, boost your resilience, sharpen intuitive abilities and increase your performance. That sounds pretty cool huh!?

But I didn’t make this book for the ‘cool’. I made it because I know that so many people can and will benefit from these simple techniques on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, I want to ask you how many people you know who could benefit from this? I’d like you to think about it for a minute and then share this post, with the FREE ebook link, with some of your family members and friends. I’m convinced that they will be thanking you for this.

Hide and Seek. What have we Learned?

Hide and Seek. What have we Learned?

Do you remember how you used to play hide and seek by putting your hands in front of your own eyes? I know, it has been a long time ago, but you might still remember this. Or maybe you’ve seen your own children apply the magic of this very cute version of playing hide and seek. Our idea was very simple – We believed that what we couldn’t see didn’t exist and we were therefore convinced that people wouldn’t be able to find us. I really love to see the way little children use the power of imagination.

What have we learned?

But I have to confess something to you now. Something that might come across as a little bold or maybe even a bit unnerving – Most of us are still playing this same ‘magical’ version of hide and seek today when it comes down to our feelings and emotions. We (kind of) believe that by ignoring what we feel inside, it will evaporate in some way. And yes, life can sometimes be too overwhelming to face head-on. That’s why our society is addicted to numbing and suppressing their feelings – think of drinking, over-eating, smoking, shopping, endless travelling or constant socializing etc. We’re looking for external stimuli to keep ignoring what we really feel deep down inside. It’s like rearranging the furniture without really cleaning the room.

I wrote “kind of believe”, because deep down inside we intuitively know that ‘rearranging the furniture’ is not a solid and permanent solution, and this is exactly where the stress starts creeping in. It doesn’t mean that we’re stupid or slow learners – we are being raised in a world that rewards us for being intellectually smart (using our head) and not for applying our heart’s wisdom and intuition.

Reality check

Stress develops when the mind, the nervous system and the heart don’t communicate in an efficient and balanced way. More than 70% of the North Americans regularly experience psychological and physical symptoms caused by stress. The picture below shows you how stress can affect our bodies.

infographic about stressMost stress-reduction initiatives often miss the essential point. We try to relieve the after-effects of stress rather than remove the cause of the stress itself. We start jogging, we chant a mantra, we read self help books, we sign up for workshops, we have our minerals balanced, we pray, we participate in a retreat, we relive past lives and so on. We keep searching but we don’t understand the problem, and that’s why we can’t find the answer. Our rationalizing mind rather likes to keep the true causes of our emotions out of awareness and it uses the mechanism of projection to do this. It blames events or other people for causing a feeling and views itself as an innocent victim of the external causes – “he got me upset” or “they made me angry.”

Wisdom of the heart

When you take a closer look at the most ancient and respected wisdom of various cultures, but also at modern science, we can conclude that our heart is the most powerful centre from where we can access and regulate our emotions and feelings. If you are interested to learn more this subject, you might want to visit my page about the scientific research by the Institute of HeartMath.

I used to be the person who always relied on my intellectual capacity. I was trained to go through life this way, until life decided to throw me some curveballs. In 2010 I found myself in deep pain and severely stressed after the passing of my dad, my brother, my mom and a dear ski-buddy. I was a broken man who didn’t know how to heal himself.

Wisdom of the Universe | Dirk Terpstra

One night, I was standing outside in the darkness. I felt very down and looked up at the sky and couldn’t ignore that it was a gorgeous sky while gazing at the billions of stars over my head. Despite all of my misery, I noticed that the universe looked so amazing and so mysterious. Whoever created this unfathomable wonder, my appreciation was limitless. Suddenly, my heart started speaking: “Do I have a choice?” wanted it to know. I spoke those words out loud without even realizing it. But I wasn’t prepared for an answer, and certainly not for an answer like this: “Of course do you have a choice – accept and try to embrace the pain that you’re feeling right now”. I didn’t see myself as a spiritual person really, and this answer that seemed to come out of nowhere took me completely off guard. For the reason that this was such an extraordinary experience, I took this advice very serious.

In the next couple of days, this remarkable answer kept repeating itself in my head and I was pondering how to ‘accept and embrace’ but no solution was being offered this time. Then I decided to let it go because ‘this trying’ made me feel even more desperate. But the moment I let it all go, was also the moment that I felt a growing connection with my heart, and suddenly I had no trouble accepting the pain I was feeling. I even began to understand that it was there for a reason! Maybe because it felt all just too intense, I began to get a very clear insight: “There must be a higher purpose for this to happen to me” I thought. That’s when I was able to embrace the pain and all the emotions.

Connecting with the Heart | Dirk TerpstraBut then something beautiful happened… I saw a gorgeous bright light and I felt an infinite love deep down inside of me and I realized: “I am Love! These dark events in my life are my gift and they are here to lift me higher than ever before. This is my healing!” I could barely believe that this was happing to me. It felt like a miracle had just happened. Unconsciously I had been playing hide and seek by covering my eyes with my hands, but by going to my heart, my hands were being taken from my eyes, and the view couldn’t be any more magnificent.

That’s how it all started – these so called ‘sad events’ were my teacher and showed me how to make the incredible journey from my head to my heart – a very fulfilling one. And once you’re there, there’s no way of ever going back: No one and no event can ever take this knowing away from me. I now inspire and help others to make that same journey, which seems so incredibly hard because we believe that it takes suffering first, or it takes many years of searching outside of yourself. But I have a message for you: “It doesn’t have to be that way!” All that you will ever need already lies inside, patiently waiting to be discovered. The most ancient civilizations already knew how to tap into this wisdom, and today’s science confirms it. Are you ready to embrace the power and love that lies inside of you?

In my next blog post I will share another story with you about my interaction with my grandma. It’s about the stuff that we believe.

I inspire and train individuals and organizations by applying the wisdom, scientific tools and techniques of accessing the power of our hearts. Feel free to visit, follow me on Facebook, Twitter or share this story with your friends. I would love to hear from you.