In episode #110 interviews Kute Blackson about the magic of surrender. Kute is a transformational teacher and author who helps people from all walks of life to reconnect with their authentic power and purpose. This interview is full of insightful advice that will help you on your own journey to happiness and soul-fulfillment.
- How surrender is the key to manifesting what your soul wants in life
- How seeking Truth will get your ego out of the way, conquer fear and find joy and happiness in the journey
- The surprising outcome of letting go and trusting the process of life
The Guest – Kute Blackson
Kute’s new book – The Magic of Surrender: https://www.amazon.com/Magic-Surrender-Finding-Courage-Let/dp/0593421469/
KUTE BLACKSON is a beloved inspirational speaker and transformational teacher. He speaks at countless events he organizes around the world as well as at outside events including A-Fest, YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization), and EO (Entrepreneurs’ Organization). He is a member of the Transformational Leadership Council, a select group of one hundred of the world’s foremost authorities in the personal development industry.
Winner of the 2019 Unity New Thought Walden Award, Blackson is widely considered a next generation leader in the field of personal development.
His mission is simple: To awaken and inspire people across the planet to access inner freedom, live authentically and fulfill their true life’s purpose.
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kuteblacksonlovenow
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- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kute-blackson-35755519/
Dr. Jill Carnahan is Your Functional Medicine Expert® dually board certified in Family Medicine for ten years and in Integrative Holistic Medicine since 2015. She is the Medical Director of Flatiron Functional Medicine, a widely sought-after practice with a broad range of clinical services including functional medical protocols, nutritional consultations, chiropractic therapy, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, and massage therapy. As a survivor of breast cancer, Crohn’s disease, and toxic mold illness she brings a unique perspective to treating patients in the midst of complex and chronic illness. Her clinic specializes in searching for the underlying triggers that contribute to illness through cutting-edge lab testing and tailoring the intervention to specific needs.
Featured in Shape Magazine, Parade, Forbes, MindBodyGreen, First for Women, Townsend Newsletter, and The Huffington Post as well as seen on NBC News and Health segments with Joan Lunden, Dr. Jill is a media must-have. Her YouTube channel and podcast features live interviews with the healthcare world’s most respected names.
A popular inspirational speaker and prolific writer, she shares her knowledge of hope, health, and healing live on stage and through newsletters, articles, books, and social media posts! People relate to Dr. Jill’s science-backed opinions delivered with authenticity, love and humor. She is known for inspiring her audience to thrive even in the midst of difficulties.
Dr. Jill 00:13
Hello, everybody! Good afternoon, and welcome to another episode of Dr. Jill Live. I’m here with special guest Kute Blackson today, and I’m so excited to get to know him and more about what he’s been doing. The title already speaks for itself, “The Magic of Surrender,” and we’re going to dive into what this really means and how it could affect you, your health, or whatever you’re dealing with in your life.
Dr. Jill 00:35
Let me just do a brief introduction, and then we’ll get right to the show. Kute Blackson is a beloved inspirational speaker and transformational teacher. He speaks at countless events he organizes around the world as well as outside events including A-Fest, YPO, and EO. We’re all familiar with a lot of those. Kute is a member of the Transformational Leadership Council, a select group of 100 of the world’s foremost authorities on personal development, and is a winner of the 2019 Unity New Thought Walden Award. He’s widely considered the next generation leader in the field of personal development and his mission is simple: To awaken and inspire people across the planet to access inner freedom, live authentically, and fulfill their true life’s purpose.
Dr. Jill 01:19
I love it! So where I always like to start with my guest is, how did you get here, Kute? You’ve always had a journey, and often our journey really transforms us first, and then we go out and help to transform the world. Tell me a little about you. Where did you grow up and how did you get interested in this kind of work? I’ll let you just tell us a little bit about your story.
Kute Blackson 01:41
Oh yes. I was born in Ghana, West Africa. My father’s from Ghana and my mother’s Japanese. I grew up in London. So I feel like a citizen of the world, like I’m from everywhere and nowhere. I was a very empathetic kid. And so, as a kid, I would feel people’s pain very deeply. There was a part of me that wanted to alleviate suffering in some way. I didn’t know what that would look like.
Kute Blackson 02:07
I grew up in an unusual environment. When I was a kid, I didn’t know that it was unusual. I just thought this was everyone’s experience. I think that was a blessing because I grew up without a sense of limitations. I remember being about seven years old and being lost in the crowd, and I see a crippled woman crawling on the floor. She picks up the sand that this man walks on, wipes it on her face, and stands up. We call that a miracle, and so week after week I grew up seeing blind people see and deaf people hear. The same man would look at a person in a wheelchair and say, “Hey, why are you in this wheelchair? Stand up!” Or the same man would look at someone who was coming with crutches and he would say, “Hey, throw your crutches away!” This man was my father. He was considered the ‘Miracle Man of Africa,’ a kind of iconic spiritual guru, teacher, healer, minister. He built 300 churches in Ghana, West Africa, and a huge church in London, with 4,000-5,000 people every Sunday. So I grew up in this environment and I thought this was everyone’s life and everyone’s reality.
Kute Blackson 03:13
When I was eight [years old], my speaking career began because I was thrown into the audience and told to speak. And that started a whole relationship with communicating and speaking. When I was 14, I was ordained as a minister. And unbeknownst to me, my father had decided I was going to be his successor. We didn’t have a conversation about it. No one told me, it was just announced one Sunday. I wanted to help people, but when he said it and he announced it, my heart sank because I knew that this was not my path. I knew that this was not my soul’s journey or my trajectory. But I was too afraid to speak my truth. I was too afraid to tell my father how I felt. My fear was that if I spoke my truth, communicated how I really felt, and dared to be who I am, I’d lose his love, be an outcast, and be alone. And there were literally hundreds of thousands of people in Ghana, part of my father’s congregation, that had their hopes and dreams pinned on me now that he made this announcement. So there was a lot of pressure.
Kute Blackson 04:18
I think many of us, as human beings, allow fear to hijack us and fear to stop us from expressing our voice, our creativity, our gifts, and sharing them with the world. And so for four years, I suppressed myself and couldn’t muster up the courage to have that conversation and went through a lot of internal conflict and turmoil and questioning.
Kute Blackson 04:42
When I turned 18, it was a pivotal moment in my life because, up until that point too, I had been reading a lot of self-help books. On my father’s bookshelf were books by people like Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, and Marianne Williamson. So this is how I immersed my consciousness, with these amazing books. So when I turned 18, I felt this calling to come to the US. My soul was guiding me, “Go to America, to Los Angeles!” specifically, southern California, because this is where all of the authors lived, and I wanted to go into this field of personal development, spirituality, and personal growth. And it didn’t make sense to my mind and I think sometimes what our soul guides us to do isn’t always convenient or doesn’t always make sense or isn’t always logical, but I really believe that when you follow your soul you’re always guided. You end up in the right place even though the road that you take doesn’t make sense.
Kute Blackson 05:42
I looked into my future at this point, and I saw that I could follow the expected path. I could follow the path that was laid out for me by my father. At age 20, 30, 40, or 50, I could be successful based on everyone else’s standards. But if I didn’t have myself, if I didn’t have my soul, if I didn’t have my own integrity, then what do I have? I don’t have anything. What kind of success is that? And I felt such a deep sense of self-betrayal and this feeling of soul suicide. And the pain was so deep that I knew at that moment what I had to do, and that was to have that conversation with my father and leave everything that I knew behind. And it was scary; it was terrifying. I had the conversation. I had to make peace with some fears, and my father and I didn’t speak for two years, which was really heartbreaking.
Kute Blackson 06:38
To cut a long story short, I ended up winning a green card in the green card lottery. The American government gives away 55,000 green cards in the green card lottery. I won the darn thing and I had this feeling. We can get into that more if you want, but I had this feeling and I won it. And that, for me, was a signal, a sign from the universe that I was on the right path. I came to the US with two suitcases and $800. You’re no one in the country, just a kid pursuing a dream. I went and found many of the authors and teachers that I read about. Then A few years later, I traveled; I went to Israel and later to India. It was my time in India that really cracked my heart open to a whole other level of, shall we say, ‘realization’; a whole other level of freedom. And it was out of that that I was guided to come back to the US. I just started working with people one-on-one, 20 years ago, as a coach before coaching was popular. And I just began working with people, and one person came, another person came, and before you knew it, over months and years, people started coming from around the world. One thing led to the next, and things just expanded, and I wrote two best-selling books, and here we are.
Dr. Jill 07:54
Wow. I love your story! I knew from the little bits that I knew about you that I would really enjoy this conversation. But already my smile, my whole face… It’s so much part of any enlightened journey and no different from my own in the sense that we grow up in these places and homes with expectations, and we kind of have to unlearn. And I too had expectations. You said it a little differently, but I always say I turned down my volume, my needs, and some of that because I thought it was too much. I turned it down to be accepted because, when very young, we often equate love with following the path that we’re supposed to; doing what our parents wanted us to, or being the good girl or the good boy, or the obedient son. That’s the path and there’s nothing wrong with that, but what happens as we become more enlightened and find our soul’s purpose, we often have to step out and have really difficult conversations. But like you said, it’s either betraying ourselves or betraying other people. And that choice that you made, that crossroad at 18, changed the trajectory of your life. There’s no way that your soul would be where you’re at now doing and impacting the people you have.
Dr. Jill 09:03
To the people listening, you know inside. I’m incredibly analytical. I was bioengineering and a medical doctor, but what I had to do was unlearn—the mind, right?—and I had to go here, in that intuitive heart sense. And that’s just what you’re describing, going down into the body and the heart. And your heart and your mind can be in conflict. Just like you said in part of your story, it makes sense. There are these things in parts of our journey where we come to a road where it’s like our heart, our intuition says, “Go this way!” And everything in our mind is saying, “No, that makes no sense at all. That’s not going to work out!” But if we can put that aside and trust that deep intuition—I think it’s a God intuition, it sounds like there’s a similar kind of divine place—that’s where the joy and the miracles reside. What you got to see through following your intuition was the miracles and the people you’ve helped. I just love it. So from there you’ve been speaking and writing, and yet it’s an ongoing journey, isn’t it? We have to continue to go from the head to the heart and be in that place.
Kute Blackson 10:06
Dr. Jill 10:08
So what do you do with that client coaching? Obviously, you’re doing it in the book as well, but how would you start with someone who says: “Kute, I’m stuck. I don’t like my job; I don’t like my work; I’m not happy”? Or for me, I’m a physician, so I’m dealing with people that are ill and they’re not happy with their health. How would you start with someone like that to begin to open their minds to what’s possible?
Kute Blackson 10:30
When I work with clients, it’s not an informational process. And so I don’t really give people advice per se or tell people what to do so much. For me, it’s really about helping people. I create processes and experiences that help people. So we say, “Release the layers and the blockages.” The layers that we’ve built up over time through conditioning to function and survive. As we let go of those layers experientially, I think every person just reconnects with the truth of who they are and what we’ve always been all along. For those listening—in terms of some guidance—I think one of the places that we can start, and one of the things that I think keeps us stuck, is all the ways that we lie to ourselves as human beings. We so often lie to ourselves, and many times we don’t even know that we’re lying to ourselves. We think that what we feel is what we really feel. We think that who we are is who we really are. We’re not aware that often who we are and who we become is who we’ve been conditioned to be. What we are is really a set of condition patterns in reaction and response to things that happen in our childhood, parents, ancestors, society, and those around us.
Kute Blackson 11:52
One of the first places to start is by really looking at all of the lies that we tell ourselves as human beings. In many ways, we lie to ourselves and we don’t even know it. And so we’re in jobs that we hate that are not aligned with our soul. We stay in relationships where we know we’re no longer in love. It’s no longer right. We outgrew it 10 years ago, but we stay out of fear, guilt, or comfort. So I think if someone wants to make a start, a shift, or if they want to break through, I think we have to be willing to start by telling ourselves the truth. The truth about who we are, the truth about what we feel, the truth about what’s going on inside of us—just the truth without judgment, without shame—just tell the truth! It sounds simple, but it’s not always easy. We’re conditioned from childhood to avoid the truth, suppress our feelings, and be who we think we need to be in order to get love, validation, and approval.
Kute Blackson 12:44
I think people [can] just start by asking themselves a sincere question, “What lies am I telling myself?” To me, there is no real transformation without truth. There is no real healing without truth. There is no fulfillment and happiness without truth. You can’t be truly fulfilled and happy being someone that you’re not, living someone else’s version for your life. So, for me, real spiritual practice is truth. Real meditation is truth. Real therapy is truth. Real yoga is truth. I think if we’re willing to start by telling ourselves the truth, things transform, things truthfully shift. So, what lies am I telling myself?
Kute Blackson 13:22
You have to want the truth more than you want what you have. You have to want the truth more than you want what you think you want. So many times we keep ourselves stuck with rationalizing and the ways we’ve learned to survive. So what lies am I telling myself? I would also invite people to take the pressure off of themselves from having to take action because sometimes we’re afraid of the consequences of what will happen if we speak and tell the truth to ourselves; starting there. The ego creates a sort of unconscious defense mechanism of confusion. “I’m not sure. I don’t know. I’m confused. I don’t know what my purpose is. I don’t know what my truth is. I don’t know what I really want. I don’t know if I really want to stay in this relationship. I’m confused”; when deep down, we’re not confused, there’s a deep knowing.
Kute Blackson 14:08
I think there’s a part of us that knows everything, but confusion can often be the smoke screen or the survival self-protection mechanism that keeps us safe from having to own that big action. So when we take the pressure off of ourselves from having to take action, then we can just be with the truth. The truth might sound like, “I’m not in love.” You don’t have to divorce, you don’t have to break up, you don’t have to take any action, but just to acknowledge the truth and be with the truth. “I hate my job.” You don’t have to leave it, but just acknowledging the truth starts a process inside. So what lies am I telling myself? What am I pretending to not know? The lies that I’m telling myself, what is it costing me?—because when we lie to ourselves, there is a cost, and often that cost is pain. I’m sure you see it, you’re a physician. Many times, I think, when we lie to ourselves that it’s meant to be painful. To me, the pain is a signal that we’re not living in integrity, that there’s some part of us that’s out of alignment. There’s some part of us that we’re not paying attention to. Any pain is a messenger, but often we don’t pay attention to the message. We numb it, we distract it, we anesthetize it, we drink it away, smoke it away, eat it away, shop it away, social media it away; whatever we need to do to not feel it.
Kute Blackson 15:23
Often, as a result of suppressing that pain—that lie, that truth that’s not acknowledged—at some point it will tend to manifest as emotional pain, some kind of depression. Or it might manifest as a temporary physical ailment; a backache, a neck ache, a shoulder ache. It may manifest as some kind of disease; like our unconscious is trying to get our attention. So I think if we’re willing to just acknowledge the truth and deal with the truth and actually begin by just feeling the pain of the misalignment, even if we don’t take action, that starts a process of marinating inside of ourselves. Then we can feel through whatever feelings might be there or that may come up, and then we can start dealing with it and moving through it. I think that’s a place where we can start.
Kute Blackson 16:14
As children, we were in touch with the truth. Children are very honest. When we’re children, we’re free. We’re born free; we’re in touch with our essential nature. A child will jump on a table and cry when they feel like crying. They’ll hug you when they feel like hugging you, but they won’t when they don’t feel like it. They’ll run naked; they don’t care what you think. They’re in touch with their essence, and I think that’s why when we look at a child, we’re reminded of that true pure essential nature within ourselves, which is why we melt, which is why we connect to them as adults. So what happens? We’re born, we incarnate, we meet our parents. Our parents are just doing the best that they can do based on their life and their programming, which often they’re unconscious of too. So now we’re born into a preset, pre-framed pattern of conditioning. Maybe Dad was an alcoholic. Maybe Mom had mental health issues. Maybe they were fighting all the time. Maybe they were great people, but they just weren’t able to meet our emotional needs.
Kute Blackson 17:10
So, firstly, we learn all sorts of strategies to disconnect, shut down, and not feel. And that’s where the ‘lying’ starts, so to speak, and the self-betrayal starts. We shut down, disconnect, and do not feel in order to survive and handle the pain of what’s going on around us. We learn all sorts of defense mechanisms. We erect walls around our hearts to protect ourselves, right? And then we also learn a way of being. We go into the world with a sense of “Who do I need to be in order to get love, validation, approval, and to be loved by my dad?”
Kute Blackson 17:40
For me, I learned that I need to be the good son, the polite one, the appropriate one, the perfect one, and the one who takes care of everyone. But in many ways, there were so many parts of my own authentic nature that I ended up betraying. So we develop a role, a mask, and a persona as a way to get that love, validation, and approval. We contort ourselves into a shape, a set pattern that we hold on to that gets reinforced by life. And we think the version of ourselves that we’ve become is who we are, and it’s not. It’s just a condition, pattern, program, and construct of what we’ve learned to function and survive. Then we live inside of that limitation, wondering, “Why do I not feel free?” I think many times, disease or emotional pain end up being the manifestation of that limitation. For me, it’s about helping people become free. So I think we have to be willing to question ourselves: Is who I am, who I really am, or is this who I’ve been conditioned to be?
Kute Blackson 18:44
The degree to which we’re conditioned is the degree to which we’re not free. I think that we can become aware that we’re conditioned and start observing, noticing, and witnessing our conditioning, and then have the courage to acknowledge it by telling the truth and acknowledging our pain, knowing that the pain is there for a reason. The pain isn’t bad, it’s just the alarm signal going off often in our bodies to acknowledge our pain—physical pain, emotional pain—and be willing to create a safe space to process through and feel the layers of pain that we’ve learned to suppress. And I think that’s where healing can happen.
Dr. Jill 19:21
Brilliant! Again, I just love it! I’m just eating this up because it’s so relevant and relevant to me as a physician with patients with illness. And, again, my own life, it starts here about five years ago after the divorce. For me, it was a big awakening, and part of that was, “Who am I? What do I want?” And often, what happens is there’s some difficulty or illness or something that shakes us a little. And that shaking of our stability of what we thought was secure and what we thought was who we were allows us to start to move against those boundaries of that contorted person that we thought we were and actually say: “Who am I? What do I want? What does this look like?” And it usually comes through some painful circumstances. In my own journey, I’ve done a lot of work around this.
Dr. Jill 20:07
Like I said, it was going from my head of what I thought I should and I must do, and all those constructions around my childhood, to actually find out, “What do I really want? What do I really need?” And having that self-compassion because there was a judge, right? There was this strong judgment of what I should and shouldn’t do, and right and wrong; not that that all went away. The other thing you said is the pain. For me, I had suppressed anger; I suppressed sadness. I was optimistic, happy Jill. That was my persona. And what I realized then, as I started to actually deal with those painful things and those emotions when they first come up, is that they’re terrifying because they feel like a tsunami that’s going to come squash and take you out. So I was like, “Oh it’s no wonder all these first 40 years of my life I suppressed those emotions.”
Dr. Jill 20:52
I remember when I first started feeling, there were two weeks of massive sadness. I thought: “Oh my goodness, this is terrible. Is it ever going to end?” But what happened is like what you’re describing. As I started to allow that to flow through me, it became easier and easier. Now if I have a sad thought or an angry thought or a thought that before wasn’t “appropriate” for my upbringing, I let it come and I let it flow through me. And I have compassion for myself through that, and it’s not so bad. It’s like a small little wave and it comes and it goes. But because of that—this is where it gets into me as a physician and with patients, and my own health—the physical manifestations of suppressing those emotions are too great a cost to pay. I had cancer at 25. I had an autoimmune disease at 26 and other things. And I realize now that some of the cost of my suppression of who I really was and my own emotions was an illness like cancer. And it’s not every case, but a lot of physical ailments can be related in some part to exactly what you’re talking about.
Kute Blackson 21:49
Yes, for sure. The body has an intelligence.
Dr. Jill 21:53
The body doesn’t lie, right?
Kute Blackson 21:54
The body doesn’t lie, the body communicates to us for sure.
Dr. Jill 21:57
I loved what you said, so for those listening who maybe do have pain or illness, I’m not saying it’s all caused, it’s your fault, or anything like that. But I’m just saying those are messengers, and it’s almost like, “Hey!” For me, if I think about my own body, my own body was like, “Excuse me, Jill, can we have your attention?—because you’re not treating us in the way that you should.” And it took me years to really realize that. But I wasn’t really true to myself, and my body was trying to get my attention through this manifestation of illness. And it took some of that to get that to transform into a different place. So I love all of that. Tell me about the art of surrender and the magic of surrender because I completely agree with you. Because truly, that embracing of uncertainty and truly flowing with life and trusting that everything is meant to be and is going to take us where we’re supposed to go is hard, right? But it’s also where the magic—the things that we experience that I consider miraculous—happens. It’s on that edge of surrender. So tell me more about surrender.
Kute Blackson 23:02
Yes. First I want to say, yes, on one level it seems hard. and I will agree that yes, it’s hard. It seems hard, but I’m going to pre-frame it to say, it seems hard and, in fact, surrender is really what is most natural for us as human beings. It’s just that we’ve been conditioned; conditioned to hold on in the ways that I just shared. We’ve been conditioned to hold on and then we hold on so tightly to this way of being, this survival mechanism, this person that we think we are or that we’ve become, that we’ve learned to be based on avoiding pain, getting love, survival, and identity.
Kute Blackson 23:48
I’m making a fist right now for those listening, and I’m holding on so tightly, holding on so tightly, holding on so tightly. Now holding on is actually hard. The more we hold on, the more normal it starts feeling. But in fact, letting go, and surrendering is the easiest thing. It’s just that we’ve been conditioned to hold on to avoid pain, function, survive, get love, validation, and approval. So the degree to which we’re conditioned is the degree to which we hold on. The degree to which we hold on is the degree to which we tend to be identified with the program and the set of patterns that we’ve become. To me, this is ego. Ego is not a thing, it’s a process of identification. And that process of identification, that idea of who we believe ourselves to be and that ‘holding on’ sense of identification, that’s the aspect of ourselves that resists. And for the ego, the self that we perceive ourselves to be, surrender can seem difficult because the ego’s job—what we think we are that we’re not really—is to reinforce its existence and survive.
Kute Blackson 25:03
The ego’s job is to protect us to make sure we never feel hurt like we were hurt when we were five, or seven; that we never feel that helpless again. And so, all of a sudden, at age five, we learn to become overly analytical, let’s say, or we learn to shut down parts of our hearts. We learned to be a certain way so that we weren’t hurt by dad’s or mom’s rejection. And now it worked for us when we were 5, but now we’re 25, 35, and 45, and we fall in love, and now our heart is closed and doesn’t want to open because we’re afraid. The ego is like, “I’m not going to let you open your heart again because if you open your heart again and you surrender to the love that you’re feeling, you’re going to get hurt, you’re going to be abandoned, you’re going to be rejected! No!”
Kute Blackson 25:46
The ego’s job is to protect us. The ego’s job is to make sure we don’t get hurt again. When we understand the nature of ego, when we understand the purpose of ego, and when we start understanding that we are not ego—the collection of patterns that we identify with—it starts changing our relationship with ourselves, with life, and it starts transforming our relationship with surrender. So it’s ego that resists because ego wants everything and everyone to change, but it doesn’t want to change. And when we understand the purpose and the nature of ego, then I think it starts freeing us up to relate to ego differently, knowing we’re not it. But also, it can start freeing us up to relate to it with much more compassion because we understand, “Ah, the reason I’m resisting, the reason I’m holding on so tightly, the reason I’m afraid of questioning myself, the reason I’m afraid of letting go, the reason I’m afraid of acknowledging the truth is survival.” It’s a beautiful intention. So when we understand that, then we can hold ourselves with love, compassion, kindness, understanding, and reassurance.
Kute Blackson 26:57
We don’t have to force ourselves to surrender or make ourselves surrender, we can just hold ourselves with that compassion and those young parts of us that learn from a very young age certain survival techniques and mechanisms that are often outdated. What starts happening in that safety and that compassion is the surrender slowly, gently starts happening. And that’s sort of a deeper sense. But just to have a frame for the conversation about surrender, I believe that surrender is the most powerful thing that we can do as human beings. I really believe that surrender is the password for freedom. I really feel that surrender is the key to your next level, the real secret to manifestation.
Kute Blackson 27:40
In our culture today, we’ve been programmed to believe—mistakenly, I think, a misconception—that surrender is weak, that surrender is passive. [The misconceptions are] that if you surrender you’re going to be taken advantage of; if you surrender you’re going to be a doormat; if you surrender you’re going to be a victim; and if you surrender you won’t manifest your goals, dreams, and desires; if you surrender, it means giving up and waving the white flag, it means you’re going to get less in life. And what I’m really saying in the magic of surrender is what if you didn’t get less? In true, authentic surrender, what if you got more than you could even have projected, visualized, goal set, or imagined from the limited perspective of your ego? No matter how brilliant the egos are, our minds become, it’s still limited because ego is limited to past experience, which is conditioned. And so, a life that is lived inside of the mind or the ego alone is still a limited life. Surrender is when you take the limitations off of life.
Kute Blackson 28:44
Every great person, Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Mandela, Martin Luther King, Bruce Lee, Bob Marley, Muhammad Ali, you name it—anyone who was great in a sense—they all surrendered themselves. They surrendered themselves to a mission that was bigger than themselves. They surrendered themselves to life. They surrendered themselves to the divine. They surrendered themselves to the universe. They surrendered themselves to the deep calling of their soul, and in that surrender, they transcended their own ego. They transcended their own human limitation. They went beyond personal power and were able to tap into a dimension of life that was infinite. They were able to tap into a dimension of life, and life began to flow through them, use them, and live through them, perhaps even in ways that they could not have even imagined.
Kute Blackson 29:35
So the magic of surrender—magic is that which is beyond your mental capacity to imagine what’s possible, beyond your wildest dreams. So what if you got more love, more joy, what you couldn’t even imagine? To me, we all want the magic. When I ask people, “Who wants more magic?” All the hands go up. But then when it comes to surrendering, very few hands go up. Surrender is the password to the magic. The degree to which we surrender—let go of that which isn’t aligned—is the degree to which we open ourselves to the magic. Surrender is to let go of control, or I should say, the illusion of control. Control is that master addiction. The ego’s mechanism to control everything because “I control everything so I won’t get hurt.” So surrender is to let go of control. Surrender is to stop trying to force and manipulate life to fit our limited idea of what we think it should be, where we try to make that relationship happen even though it’s not happening. We try to make that career or goal happen even though it’s not really aligned.
Kute Blackson 25:46
When we let go of manipulating or forcing life to fit our limited idea, we let go of the idea of who we think we should be and the idea of what we think life should be so that we can truly be available and open and willing and receptive to the life that is authentically seeking to happen. I think in so many ways, without attachment to our ideas of how we think things should be and how life should be and people should be, we’re not aware but we’re often limiting life. We’re limiting the infinite. So surrender is to take the limits off and let life lead you and to be fully available to the magic. That’s when I think miracles happen that often surprise us.
Kute Blackson 30:39
If you look at the best things in life, we didn’t plan them, they just happened in the process of living life itself. Even when things didn’t go according to plan and things didn’t manifest how we wanted them to, if we look back, how many times did they work out better than we imagined? If someone looks back at a relationship that they really wanted to have happen… Let’s use this as an example: Think of a relationship that you were so sure about. You felt you met your soulmate, the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. I remember I met someone 20 years ago, she was amazing. I’m like, “This is the one! I’m going to spend the rest of my life with… I couldn’t imagine being with anyone else!” And if you think back to that person and then you broke up, and then now, maybe from the perspective of today, you look back and you go: “Thank God. Thank God that didn’t happen!” Right? So when things don’t happen from the perspective of the mind or the ego, it seems some way, it seems a certain way, it seems like a failure. But from the perspective of the soul, it’s a blessing; it’s grace.
Kute Blackson 32:31
The ego is limited and so surrender is the willingness to trust, even when we can’t see the trust and even when we don’t trust. It’s still unfolding for our good because even when things didn’t work out, you might look back and go: “Wow, if I didn’t lose my job, if I didn’t break up with that person, I wouldn’t have moved back home. And if I didn’t move back home I wouldn’t have met my soulmate. This wouldn’t happen, that wouldn’t have happened.” So I think life has an intelligence that’s beyond us because life has been around for billions and billions and billions of years. And I think that’s the magic; it’s just a willingness to trust life.
Dr. Jill 33:06
Absolutely, I so agree with you! Talking about my own life, I know my ex-husband would agree with this as well. Our divorce, for both of us, was the beginning of us really awakening. Now we’re great friends; not in a relationship, but friends, and respectful. We both see how the power of that divorce really transformed us into a much better version of ourselves. And it wouldn’t have ever happened. It was hard. It wasn’t easy at the time, but now looking back, it’s one of the best things that happened.
Dr. Jill 33:38
I think about your analogies with letting the surrender allow the magic to happen and so many of the really special things in my life. I’m getting ready to publish my own book and working on a documentary. And for both of those things, the divine gave me the vision seven or eight years ago on the book. And it was funny because I remember having a really intense retreat for about four to six weeks where I was just delving into who I was and where I wanted to go. And I felt this come to me: “You’re supposed to write your story, you’re supposed to write your book.” And I remember, literally in tears, talking to God and being like, “God, who am I? I don’t know what I’m doing. What if nobody reads my book? I don’t know what I’m doing. I can’t write.” And that’s the ego, right? That’s the ego giving excuses, but I surrendered and I remember just hearing my soul: “You know what? It doesn’t matter if no one even reads; it matters if you follow your path, your journey. You’re supposed to do this, and let me take care of the details.”
Dr. Jill 34:29
What happened in the next seven years was that so many chapters were written. I couldn’t have written it at the time, but I had to wait and surrender to the timing. And the timing now is much better than it would have been seven years ago. But during that time, I just kept it in my heart, knowing that it would happen. I had complete faith that when the time was right, the resources, the people, and the publisher would all come in the way that they were supposed to. And it did, and it’s way better than I could have planned. And the stories that I can tell now, through those last seven years, are so powerful and profound. I would never have had that if I had tried to do it in my own strength seven years ago.
Dr. Jill 35:05
And then the documentary, just a year or so ago, I’m just sitting in my chair meditating, and it was during COVID, and I thought, “You know, people are no longer reading as many books, they’re on screens. I’m still going to write my book, but I wonder if I’m supposed to do something on screen.” And I just had the vision: “You know what? Do a documentary.” I have no experience. I’m not a producer. I have no experience at all, but I’m like, “Okay, I’ll do it if you help me out here.” And I just started moving forward. Within seven days, I had a producer, director, and executive assistant, and within three months, we had an investor who funded the full project. And that would have never happened if it had been in my own power. It was literally surrendering and trusting and then just showing up every day with the wonder of a child and saying: “What’s going to happen today? What miracles do I get to see today?”—and living that way. And again, I’m still in the process. I don’t have it all made, but I love the freedom that you talked about because I used to live this way. And I’m showing a fist for those of you listening. And I was analytical and controlled. I made my to-do list. I made my 5-year plan and my 10-year plan.
Kute Blackson 36:05
Here’s the thing: there’s nothing wrong with that just so people are clear. I think this is important to clarify for people. It’s like, “Does surrender mean you can’t set goals? Does surrender mean you just sit there… ?” Just to be clear, the old paradigm is that you ask yourself: “What do I want? What do I want? What do I want?” You make plans, make plans, and make plans based on your own limited perspective. And you can manifest that way, but it will often end up limited because we get so attached to the outcome being the outcome. And sometimes the goal is not the goal; it’s just the necessary evolutionary carrot that takes us on the journey that we need to go on so that we can grow and evolve. And that’s sometimes the blessing.
Kute Blackson 36:45
So in surrender, you ask different questions: “What is it that life is seeking to express through me? What is it that the universe is seeking to express through me? What is the deepest expression, the deepest impulse that my soul is seeking to express?” And then you align with that. As you align with that deep impulse of life, that deep intention of life. Then, when you get that vision when you’re clear, like: “This is what’s true! This is the documentary! This is the book! This is the business! This is the project!” Not what you think you should be doing but what’s most seeking to express from the depth of your being; that unconditioned part of your soul. Then you can align your thinking, your strategy, your ego, your plan, and your mind. Ego is now in service to your soul, and then you can take action; full action.
Kute Blackson 37:30
So surrender isn’t just sitting around doing nothing. That’s laziness. Surrender is not an abdication of responsibility. It’s not an excuse, “Eh, whatever’s going to happen, I’m just going to go with the flow.” That’s not necessarily surrender. Surrender is to feel deepest truth, align with that, and give 100%, but don’t be attached to the outcome. And I think that’s the art, when you’re not attached to the outcome but you’re involved fully and showing up fully trusting that life will lead you. As you are in action, life will lead you, life will show you.
Dr. Jill 38:06
It’s knowing what your soul is supposed to do in the world. I loved your bio because a lot of those things I relate to. To inspire, encourage, and love is really what my soul loves to do; it doesn’t matter. But the how; you let the how develop itself. You let the how you’re supposed to do that come about and manifest in your life without an attachment that “it has to be this way,” right? And I think that’s exactly what you’re describing.
Kute Blackson 38:29
Yes, that’s the openness where you give 100%, but you’re not like, “It’s got to be this…” For instance, the magic of the book was [that it was] not the book I thought I was going to write. I had other plans. To be honest, I wanted to write a different kind of book. And I sat down with an entire whiteboard of ideas. Hundreds of brilliant ideas, but at the end of the day—this is where honesty came into play—if I was really honest, none of those felt true. None of those felt authentic in my own integrity. I could have written about them. I mean, it could have been a nice idea, but it didn’t feel aligned. The only word when I looked at that whiteboard that felt true was ‘surrender.’ And that’s when I knew this is the book that was seeking to be written, not necessarily the book I wanted to write. And when I got my ego in alignment with my soul, that’s when the magic happened and that’s when everything started to unfold. I had to surrender to the book about surrender.
Kute Blackson 39:33
I think when we’re able to live in that harmony—ego in alignment with soul—that’s when we’re in the flow of life and nature. And life supports itself through the fulfillment of that vision and intention. I would also say that our goals have chosen us. Your goals choose you, and if your goals choose you, they don’t belong to you. If they don’t belong to you, they belong to life. And if they belong to life, then life knows how to fulfill itself through you. Your job, my job, is to surrender, to say yes; do our part to show up. And that’s when I think life does the rest. That’s when life begins to manifest when we get out of our own way and we say: “Okay, I feel the vision, I feel the calling, I’m going to follow it. I’m going to ride this wave because the wave is moving and I don’t have to make the wave.” And many of us are so worried about—we go to the ocean with the surfboard and we say, “Well, how do I make the wave? “If I take a hose and I make a wave with water, then… ” No, the wave is the wave and the ocean is the ocean. And I think we start learning to catch the waves that are authentically ours.
Dr. Jill 40:51
I love that because even with the divine, sometimes we’ll have a conversation, me and the divine, and I’ll be like, “You know, it’s your reputation on the line. I’m here. I’ll do whatever you want.” I kind of like to let that go because it’s really… One of the things you said, before we wrap up, that I think is really important, is that you talked about self-compassion. I found that to be core with healing. But I also find that if I want to love people, my patients, and my friends and family, and truly, unconditionally show them that kind of love and acceptance and give them a place where they can transform, I can only do that if I start with that compassion for myself. We often reflect. If we have self-loathing or judgment or those things for ourselves, we’re going to project them on those we love. Do you want to talk a little bit about why self-compassion is so important?—because I think that’s the core, too, of what you’re—
Kute Blackson 41:40
Yes, I think it becomes a little difficult to truly love other people if we’re hating ourselves. I mean, we can to a degree, but it’s limited. And I think the more we’re able to embrace those parts of ourselves, the less we will project them outside. When we reject parts of ourselves, when we hate parts of ourselves, when we deny parts of ourselves, we will often project [those] onto other people. And then, as a result, when we see them in other people, we will judge them, we will blame them, and we’ll make them wrong. But many times, when we see other people, they’re reflecting back to us those parts of ourselves that we haven’t made peace with, that we haven’t acknowledged, that we haven’t brought compassion to. So it’s hard to be compassionate to them when we’re not compassionate to those parts of ourselves.
Kute Blackson 42:35
But what I found is that when we’ve truly been loving, accepting, and healing—and healing is the application of love—to those parts of ourselves that are hurting, and when we bring healing and compassion to those parts of ourselves, then we project less. Then when we see someone being egotistical or being selfish or being out of integrity or being a certain way—fill in the blank—then we’re much more able to have compassion for them knowing they’re in pain because we’ve embraced and we’ve acknowledged that part of ourselves. I think that’s the foundation. Self-love is the foundation. And ultimately, all relationships are a mere manifestation of our own consciousness. All relationships are manifestations of us. And to me, there’s no real relationship out there. We’re in relationship with parts of ourselves that are projected out there. So, the more we love ourselves, I think the more we will be able to hold the space and love what we see out there in the world.
Dr. Jill 43:38
Wow! And we need that more than ever in our world. So where can people find you? Where can they get your book? Tell us a little bit, because I just love talking to you. I could go for hours.
Kute Blackson 43:49
The book is available on Amazon; that’s one. There’s a special free event I’m doing depending on people listening to this conversation, July 12–19, an entire week. I’m doing a free event online called the ‘Surrender Summit.’ I want to invite everyone to register for free and share with your friends, www.thesurrendersummit.com. You can register. I’m bringing some of my friends together on that summit. People like Neale Donald Walsch of Conversations With God, John Gray, Barbara De Angelis, Martha Beck, Dr. Sue Morter, and John Demartini. There are about 20 people that are going to also be a part of the week-long event; thesurrendersummit.com. For people that want to go deeper, you can check out my website, kuteblackson.com. Twice a year I do an event in Bali. It’s 12 days. It’s perhaps my signature event where we take 20 people and we go on a deep transformational journey together, and it’s life-changing, it’s profound, it’s very special. It’s called ‘Boundless Bliss.’ So people can go to www.boundlessblissbali.com.
Dr. Jill 45:02
Perfect! And I’ll include all those links wherever you’re listening. Kute, it was absolutely my pleasure to get to know you. We’ll include all these links. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your desire to change the world through inspiration and all the things that you do. I really appreciate it!
Kute Blackson 45:19
Thank you, I appreciate it!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is not intended to replace any recommendations or relationship with your physician. Please review references sited at end of article for scientific support of any claims made.