Interview with
      Nick Seneca Jankel

Question: Why did you write Switch On?
 
Nick Seneca Jankel: Its important to note that the Switch On project is not “just” a book. Books
tend to live in the head; and transformation happens in the head, heart and hands (beliefs,
emotions and behaviors). Switch On is a ground-breaking book… but it is also 21 Day
Video-Based Experience (that focuses on embodied, lived transformation without any theory);
a Do It Yourself Coaching Toolkit, where you and friend or colleague can coach each other to
have and maintain breakthroughs as you focus on chaining habits and achieving goals; a suite
of meditations, recorded with the amazing Hang instrument; a monthly radio show / podcast
mixing the latest electronic music with inspirational ideas; and a 3 day live experience to help
people experience enlightenment and fully embed it in their body and schedule. I am also
working on four more books in the Switch On Series: Switch On & Lead; Switch On & Love;
Switch On & Parent; Switch On the World. I am also filming a Web TV series where I take to the
streets of the UK and US and give people powerful Thrive Hacks that they can use in the moment.
Finally, I am developing the central life philosophy of the Switch On materials (as well as the
theoretical underpinning of my corporate innovation and leadership work), into a body of
knowledge I have called Breakthrough Biodynamics. I am writing a landmark explanation of the
science and wisdom behind it for practitioners, coaches, consultants, change-makers and anyone
interested in creating and sustaining breakthroughs in any system.
   In terms of Switch On, the epicenter of this whole flowering of my work, I can say that I couldn't
not write it. It came through me like a juggernaut on a highway tunnel once I had seen the light
and switched myself on. However, it then took 7 years to simplify the science and wisdom
philosophy enough for a massively mainstream audience; and codify the process of change into a
toolkit than anyone aged 15 upwards can grasp and crucially make work in their own life. It blends
20 years worth of work, research and practice at the cutting-edge of personal and corporate
change into a pithy, and as complete as I could make it, handbook for human thriving. It covers
pretty much all areas the human experience, focused on how we use our natural creativity (and curiosity) to solve our own problems (and those of the people around us) so that we can thrive not just despite our problems, but also even because of them.
   It is both a life philosophy and 10-step process that people can read once and use right now; but also refer back to many times as their life changes. It covers everything from releasing addictions, achieving goals, creative problem-solving, getting stuff done, dealing with exhaustion, how to connect our hearts to something bigger than our problems are, how stress works, how to practice mindfulness and empathy and compassion, leadership, innovation and more besides. It would have been far easier to write a book that just picked one of these, as so many books do, and repeat the same idea in 10 chapters. Or to write one that was full of -isms and -ologies and academic citations. This one took 7 years to write because I wanted to unify science and wisdom seamlessly; use language that was precise yet not academic and warm yet powerful; ensure that the toolset was tried-and-tested to work with everyday personal and organisational problems; and put it all into a mainstream ‘product’ that is graspable, engaging and useful.
   Given that suicide - the vast majority of which is utterly unnecessary when people are switched on to life, love and unity - kills more each year than war and murder put together, that back ache costs the US 1% of its GDP each year and 85% of it has no known medical cause, stress effects so many people and is agreat silent killer that drives the diseases of inflammation like heart disease, that depression will soon be the No.1 burden of global health according to the WHO and that suicide is the No.1 killer of young men in the USA (more than Road Traffic Accidents), I believe we are in the middle of a vast, and virtually unnoticed, spiritual and psychological crisis. The symptoms of which can be seen in the rampant consumerism, insane levels of addiction, destruction of so many natural habits, species, languages… the poisoning of air and sea… the issues of climate change, poverty, child abuse, violence against women, ethnic conflicts etc etc etching jagged lines of unnecessary pain, distress, devastation and heartache across our human and ecological landscapes.
   There are millions of people, including a lot of my peers, students and clients, who are yearning for more meaning, more wisdom, purpose and, above all connection. But they don’t connect with the vibes of the traditional Mind Body Spirit space. They, like me, love big ideas, the latest science, pop psychology and business insights… what people call ‘smart thinking’. At the same time, there are lots of claims by New Age types that are backed up neither by science (which is the bed source of knowledge the West has developed) nor by a close reading of the wisdom texts that our birthright as human beings - Taoism, Sufism, Vedanta, Zen etc. These wild claims distort the truth about living a connected, heart-led life (like making it about being rich)… and these claims - along with the language and metaphors of Woo Woo spirituality - turn off the millions of people who are yearning for the deepest wisdom… that tells of our inherent interconnection, the path of love and the resulting creating that emanates from a heart and mind clear of pain, habit and fear.
   After all, who does not want to be switched on? And live a switched on life?
   But not everyone knows what living a conscious life is. In fact, I left one of the world’s best academic institutions, with one of their best degrees possible, that gave me expertise in two vital areas of thriving: human biology and human science / philosophy… yet I had no idea at all how to thrive. I was depressed, addicted, anxious, felt unlovable, confused about my purpose and more besides. It was only when I developed my conscious awareness of my own moods, emotions, sense of disconnection and fear, habits, beliefs and more that I was able to transform all my suffering (which is an ongoing process and the onion is pealed back).
   So, as a former brand consultant, I realized I could rebrand conscious awakening and enlightenment, integrate it with the very latest science from all areas that touch human thriving, unify that with a rigorous interoperation of the deepest insights from the world’s great wisdom traditions (Taoism, Buddhism, Sufism etc), and show how it can work for us in the everyday moments of stuckness… as well as with those more significant life and world challenges which effect so many of us eventually. In other words, the Switch On series offers a science-driven, wisdom-inspired way to deal with everyday blockages and major life traumas and upsets - addiction, depression, anxiety etc.
   Finally, I wanted to expressly connect conscious awakening and personal thriving with real—world impact, in particular the mission of increasing the social justice and environmental sustainability of our human race. Too much spirituality has developed in a bubble of self-pleasing and self- development, divorced from the suffering of people and planet. At the same time, most of the activism we see from social entrepreneurs, non-profits and movement leaders is head-driven not heart-driven… and so will ultimately fail because it takes hearts and minds to transform people’s behavior and attitudes (as Gandhi, MLK and Mandela all came to realize). I wanted to write a book that could help people who want to make change in their company and community know how to break through with passion and commitment… and inspire those on the path of spiritual enlightenment to connect their love to a cause that can make tangible difference to the starving and abused kids, the dying species and rain forests and the daily everyday, mundane, mind-numbing suffering of so many people who are depressed, anxious, stressed and suicidal.
 
QUESTION: Who is the book for? (Audience)
Nick Seneca Jankel: The millions who are interested in how to thrive and how to help their communities, organizations and world thrive too.
   Everyone who yearns for wisdom without Woo Woo. Who loves science and wisdom / spirituality. Who wants to change but also be part of world-change?
 
 
QUESTION: What isthe message of Switch On and what are you hoping to achieve with it?
Nick Seneca Jankel: You can break through anything - relationship issues, career impasse, repetitive conflict, self-sabotaging habits, business blockages and social issues - using your own unique neurobiology and the inherent spirituality contained within every creative cell in your mind and body. Nothing is too big to break through when we feel switched on - when we know we are connected to every other atoms and being in the universe. When we learn how to switch on to the micro problems we face, we access limitless love, truth and creativity. Then we can take on the bigger challenges too, and proactively get involved in community-change and world-change without getting stuck in shame, blame and complain. We don’t need to believe in anything supernatural or in a religious figure or ideology. We can find that connection through nature, stillness, love, compassion, gratitude and surrender to the inherent and innate wisdom within the universe. More and more science - whether quantum physics and complexity and chaos - is pointing to this innate interconnectivity of all things; which is the hallmark of every major wisdom tradition.
   However, spiritual awakening isn’t enough. We also must learn how to literally rewire our neurones, our habitual beliefs, moods and actions, if we want to embed and embody our break throughs in the reality of everyday life. Psychology and neuroscience are profoundly helpful in doing this.
   Once we learn how to reconnect our heart and rewire our brain, we canremix anything that frustrates us, upsets us or worries us in our world - in our own lives and within the wider issues of the world. Spiritual awakening, psychological empowerment and positive community and social impact are all one movement, one path, one journey as long as we stay switched on.
   The deal is, the sh!t will hit the fan for us all. Break ups, redundancies, the death of friends, illnesses, planetary devastation and our own death are all likely on our path. So the sooner we learn how to embrace these challenges; bring them inside us where we can exert some influence on them (we cant change what we don’t own); and metabolize the problems into possibility - the more likely we are to be able to thrive not just despite our problems… but actually because of them. This is what so many wise souls have taught us for millennia: Connected, awakened, conscious living is not about being rich and famous; or being comfortable and liked. It is about being able to find meaning in the agony; and rise triumphant in the face of tragedy.
   The world is always changing. Nothing can ever stay the same, as the Eastern traditions make so clear. Rather than fear this, we can learn to embrace it, as long as we are always excited by growth, discovery and adventure. The fittest survive. The fitted - in sync with their environment - thrive. This means the more adaptable we are - as Darwin pointed out - the better we get.
 
QUESTION: What is it that stops people from embracing the ideas in your book and making changes in their lives?
Some people are blocked by the cynicism and disenchantment of the age, although I hope my credential as a scientist, skeptic, atheist and renowned consultant to governments and Fortune 500 allays those fears.
   Others are blocked by fear of change - the terror of having to give up habits and beliefs that we feel have kept us safe - even though they may now be hurting us more than protect us. The process outlined in the book takes people on a journey where they can reassure the protective part of them - that I call the Protector - so that it feels loved, appreciated and safe enough to give up comfortable but limiting beliefs and embrace the inherent risk of change and creativity. All creativity - whether in how we relate to our kids or lover or how we act at work - brings with it risk. But I believe that the risks that come with refusing to change as the world changes so quickly around us are far greater:
The risk of our partner leaving us for someone more switched on, our company hiring someone who thinks and shifts faster, our business going down because a younger, more switched on entrepreneur sees and acts on the future. These are the things that cause so much unnecessary stasis and suffering.
   Everyone must choose. Risk the pain of self-sabotage, comfort zones and eventual irrelevance; or the potential “failure” of going for a break through. The irony is, we can use the Switch On toolkit to shift our relationship to failure too - so that it is no longer an existential threat. So there becomes no down-side to switching on; but a whole heal to remaining switched off; stubborn; resistant.
   Why not allow the creativity (and wisdom) at the heart of all our cells and neurons to guide us towards more learning, growth and possibility. Its been doing it for billions of years of cosmic expansion and biological evolution. Why not jump on that bus and make it work for you?
QUESTION: You open your book by describing one of the first times you went to a rave and danced explain the importance of this event to your life and work?
The rave scene in the UK (which then went global) changed society in ways most people don’t realize. It started out at the fringes and went mainstream - every store and every brand uses music, metaphors and memes that the rave scene created.
   However, what was most important about the ethos of rave was that it was an enormous leveler. And that spirit still continues in the festivals and clubs of the West. On the dance floor, age, race, gender, class, levels of wealth and economics all dissolve and all that is left is human connection. Love.
   So the rave was a great balm to me (and many others) when I was an unhappy teenager and then throughout my life. Given that a sense of disconnection, of separation, of alienation is at the root of all our very peculiar human suffering, major experiences that join back up the dots have the potential to heal. I now run workshops and courses with that ethos at the heart; and I use my skills as a DJ to use music to heal people in therapeutic coaching and in the conscious, dry rave experience I run with my wife, called HeartCore; and in the radio show I record that blends the latest dance and electronic music with scientific nuggets and thrive hacks.
 
QUESTION: How has your education at Cambridge University in the UK influenced your ideas?
  Cambridge gave me a great grounding in science. But it also gave me the opportunity to change course and study philosophy of science and social science. Some of the ideas I learnt about - for example how scientific paradigms shift and how new ideas arrive in culture - form the basis of my fascination with, and study of, Breakthrough Biodynamics. In my final year I had to catch up on 2 years of study be very quickly getting to know a bit about the last 3000 years of thought. This gave me a fabulous map which I have been filling out and unfolding ever since. It culminated in me writing my final thesis on scientific narratives of mystical and altered states of consciousness - which still runs deep within my work and the book Switch On.
   However, as important as the knowledge was the blessing of connecting with other extra-ordinary, passionate, super-talented human beings, and learning with them - provoking, questioning and questing together. To be inspired by peers - and to know what excellence looks like - have both helped me massively do what I do today.
 
QUESTION: You address many of the ancient wisdom traditions in your book what if any of the teachings do you think is most relevant to your work and to modern day life?
  As a broadly a perennialist, I sense that most of the great wisdom traditions have similar basic concepts. So it becomes a personal choice which, if any, to engage with.
   Personally, I love the heart-centered essence of Sufism and the possibility that the universe is our beloved (and we are its). Its a great healer for our disconnected and alienated times. I love the urge for social change within the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam; to piece together the broken shards of our atomised and unequal society. I love the urge of Mahayana Buddhism to engage in spiritual awakening for the sake of other beings, within the Bodhisattva Vow. That enlightenment is the start not the end of the journey.
   I love the cool, still, spacious ways of Taoism, which urge us to align with nature and the natural world, a great insight if we want an Earth that is not devastated by pollution, waste and climate change. I love the simplicity of Zen Buddhism and its instance in instant enlightenment - we don’t have time to sit in monasteries for 20 years before we switch on and start sorting out of lives / communities. I love the communal spirit of African Ubuntu and Native Indian traditions, and their urge to realize we are in this together - that we are the stewards not owners of this world (and the oil, metals and houses within it). I love the radical non-dualism of India’s Advaita Vedanta and the Baghavad Gita, and the genius Thrive Hacks of that tradition (like the concept of devotion) which have emerged over centuries to embrace the paradox of how to live in this world with a sense of unity amidst the evident diversity of real-world experience.
QUESTION: Your book is rooted in scientific discovery about the body.mind connection can you explain how this influences the ideas behind Breakthrough BioDynamics and the Breakthrough Curve?
NSJ: The conventional split between mind and body has profoundly impacted Western ideas about how to be well, heal pain and achieve happiness. By splitting us into a mind and body, Descartes opened the door for centuries of mechanistic medicine; where we take pills for emotional suffering because we have been duped into seeing them as body issues. Meanwhile, people working on ideas in the ‘mind’ - whether in academia or business consulting - have divorced them from the body, which is where all our ideas have to live if we are to embed them into real life.
   Discoveries about the vagus nerve, how the brain is structured and more all point us to one unalienable fact (that was not taught to me at medial school) is that we are one integrated whole; one body.mind as I call it. What is vital for anyone who wants to thrive, who wants to breakthrough their sh!t and deal with their challenges in creative ways, is that this body.mind is the only thing we have to play with. It is the platform on which all our creativity plays out. It is the biological wizardry which we must learn to master, with Thrive Hacks, if we want to be able to create - and, crucially, sustain - breakthroughs at will. So the focus of Breakthrough BioDynamics is on mastering, embracing, loving, and hacking this fully integrated body.mind. That is why a deep understanding of the science of neurobiology is as important as a close reading of the enormous wealth of wisdom we have about our mind, from East and West. One without the other short-sighted and disempowering; like a yin without a yang.
 
QUESTION: You work with hundreds of people from all walks of life, what is it that most people are looking for and how can Breakthrough BioDynamics give it to them?
NSJ: Ultimately, I believe everyone wants to thrive. They often don’t know this, thinking they want success, change something, open up new possibilities, find and express their purpose, destress and find inner peace, to lose weight or to get a relationship or to innovate a new project or business model. Yet all these aspects of human experience come naturally when we know how to thrive. This is distinct from being happy. Thriving is a very different concept to what most of us think of as happiness. Happiness is fleeting. It can last a second, a minute, or an hour, but usually not an entire day. Sure that bonus felt great this morning; but this afternoon that idiot just took my seat on the bus and now I’m upset. Few of us feel ‘happy’ when we are downsized, sacked, or dumped (and arguably nor should we). Emotions like sadness, grief, and confusion are very natural and helpful, and we can learn to thrive even when we experience them. We don’t need to be happy all the time.
   A major study has shown that the pursuit of happiness, as opposed to thriving, can make us selfish citizens because we prioritize our happiness at the expense of others. In this study of over 400 adults, being happy was associated with being a ‘taker.’ Whereas having a meaningful life, thriving despite adversity, was associated with being a ‘giver.’ When we thrive, we are more able and better-equipped to help those around us thrive too. The same cannot be said for happiness. Happiness shifts like sand in the desert. It can appear and disappear in an instant. Thriving, on the other hand, sticks around for the long term.
   We can thrive and be happy. We can thrive and be sad. We can thrive and experience pleasure or pain. We thrive when we learn how to leverage the Breakthrough Curve, the central process within Breakthrough Biodynamics. I believe this J-shaped process is a naturally forming blueprint for all transformational change (which is the subject of my 2nd book, being edited as we speak). This J-shape curve can be used to embrace and problem and metabolize it into learning, growth, creativity, peace and, ultimately, some form of real world impact or results. And that is what everyone wants - to be able to work with the cards they are dealt, find peace with them and somehow use them to make life meaningful, to live with purpose and to have real-world results in the here and now.
 
QUESTION: Explain your ideas on Happiness?
NSJ: See above
 
QUESTION: How have your experiences of depression, fibromyalgia and bullying helped you in your work with others?
NSJ: Unless you have been in serious pain, whether mental or physical (or for me, both), it is very hard to understand the vast enormity of the suffering; the insane intensity of the experience. Depression is not like being down for a day or two; it is if someone switched out the lights; or erased all the shininess of the world. The doom and gloom is so all-encompassing, it feels like nothing can ever return to normal. To be able to tap into my memories of that darkness means I am never glib; never resort to stiff-upper lip or Smiley Californian motivational speaker memes. Likewise, having lived with extreme physical pain for much of my adult life with fibromyalgia, I understand the gnawing essence of agony; and it ensures I never underestimate the suffering people are in. Bullying and social exclusion, which hurts in the same part of the brain that physical pain does, is experienced by many and is agonizing too; and a mostly silent cause of suffering.
   Whilst ensuring I have been furnished me with advanced empathy and instant compassion for human suffering, these experiences have also demanded that I delve deep into the workings of mind and body if I want to be free of them. As I have grappled with each, with an aim to heal it fully and permanently, it has given me some of the fundamentals of Breakthrough Biodynamics. I am 100% convinced, through lived experiences, that these kinds of body.mind illnesses - that seem to stem from chronic stress in some form of other - can be healed through our own breakthroughs.
 
QUESTION: You speak to some of the world’s biggest corporations; to governments and organizations like Oxfam what are you trying to teach/inspire/change?
NSJ: I attempt to guide them towards more purposeful, ethical and sustainable business models; to empower their people to bring their full self to work because they are working on something meaningful and values-led; to shift cultures and processes so that they enable and encourage people-powered breakthroughs. Ultimately my work is about showing organizations that they can use Breakthrough Biodynamics to help their leaders have massive breakthroughs in how they manage, coach and strategize; to ensure teams come together to collaborate freely and successfully on important projects, learning and thriving as they do so; and to help the organization itself find and unlock major and lasting breakthroughs in products, services, processes and business models that help it thrive into an uncertain, complex and challenging future,
 
QUESTION: As a parent of young children what are you tips to parents who don’t want to ‘screw up’ their kids?
NSJ: Parenting is the greatest personal development course and catalyst for spiritual growth that money cannot buy. Parenting consciously, what we called switched on parenting, is, as well as build our global wisdom and wellbeing community, www.ripeandready.com, the most intense challenge of our lives. We have not cracked it fully, but we have developed some basic principles which helps us all thrive at home.
 
1. Treat your kids as little human beans - smart, empathic, intuitive, wise with lots to teach us. They are sources of surprising insight once we switch on to their genius. It also helps temper our desire to control them, to bend them to our will. Respect breeds respect; trust breeds trust. So the more we relate to them as little humans who need our support to thrive, the more they and we thrive. Understand that any irritating or frustrating behavior is a natural, understandable, usually justified need they have trying to be expressed. For example, whining usually arises when they feel ignored or powerless. So check out whether you are ignoring them a bit; or whether you can help them be empowered. See if tacking wise action stops the whining in its tracks. Guide them towards the behavior you want, as you would a respected colleague or friend. For example, try asking them to speak in their “strong” voice rather than judge them for the whining. And apologize to them authentically, as you would a colleague, when you switch off and step out of line.
2. Kids will make up a story about everything, with the insight of their years on Earth - so help them have a narrative that is honest yet empowering and appropriate - this is most true of big ‘stuff’ that hits the family emotionally: Break ups, people leaving, death, job loss, ill health. They can feel the vibe change whatever happens so avoid them making up a story that has them be a victim or to blame for what happened. When they have questions, try explaining things to them as honestly (and sagely) as you can - as you would to a friend - so they grow up both trusting your word and knowing how the world works from a connected, wise view of life. Research shows that kids who have mainly empowering narratives from their parents grow up to thrive far more. Answer their questions with truth; but own that it is your opinion, your view, not The One and Only Truth (as if there was one). This gives them space to reappraise your views in future and make them own choices. It helps them think critically from an early age and know there are always multiple perspectives. This allows them to respect different viewpoints in future; and gives them vital room to explore different frames for situations and issues as they grow up, so they never get hooked onto one narrative which locks them in pain or lack of creativity.
3. See them as Natural Born Testers of your personal growth to date. We can’t bullshit them in the same we we bullshit ourselves. They will, by nature, seek out our weaknesses and unseen shadow and probe us to see if we are as sorted and smart as we think we are. They will spot any defenses or falsities in our behavior and challenge us with them in, in some way or other. How beautiful is that: The arrive to show us how to heal and become fully ourselves. Welcome this crazy wisdom inside your life and use their guidance to focus your healing and breakthrough efforts. They love you so much they will trigger all your patterns, in any way possible, so you can heal.
4. Do whatever you can to stay connected to them, as much as possible, as much of the time you can. And repair that connection whenever it is disrupted through anger, upset etc. The connection is what provides the safety, the feeling that every child needs more than anything else. So the mantra is Connection Before Correction. In particular, realize that they want to connect and play with you pretty much all the time, especially when it is most inconvenient. Can you honor this delightful urge to have fun, to learn, whilst also ensuring you do what you need to do for you and the family?
5. When you fight with a partner - or in anyway disconnect from yourself, them or others- show them how to repair that connection. I.e. Model how to get past the pain and suffering of everyday life. People tend to fight in from of their kids - or be moody or whatever - and then hide the reconciliation and repair from them. So they learn how to disconnect, to switch off; but they don’t show all the ways we awesome human beings can switch back on and reconnect. Show they how much insane joy that comes when we let go of our story about who did what and prioritize love instead.
6. Teach them, as you deepen you own mastery, how to regulate emotions, find stillness, breath deep, take a pause etc. You can start doing this when they are infants - teaching them how to find Presence admits the chaos. This can dissolve conflicts before they occur; as well as teach them how to repair their relationships and solve their issues through tapping into intuition. A massive part of this is to show them how to get into their bodies; to sense their feelings within their gut, muscles and movement. The more they (and you) get out your heads, the more you can feel into any situation and sense the wisdom that is always ready to emerge as truth, love or creativity (or some combination of the three).
7. Introduce them to vital spiritual and psychological concepts from the start, in the form of Thrive Hacks, that you interpret for their age. So start the family off with the “Thank You Game” after a bedtime story, where everyone has to think of one thing they are grateful for from the day. Show then just how grateful and thoughtful one can be. Ask them to consider what something feels like to a friend or pet, to  build their empathy skills. Take them to a hostel or hospice so they put into action compassion and social justice from a young age (and see just how lucky they are).
8. Tell them you love them, authentically, as often as you feel it. Don’t hold back like so many of our parents did! Hug them whenever you feel you want to, as long as they want to (which sometimes they don’t). Take very opportunity to whisper into their ears - and so into their always-listening unconscious mind - that they are loved, unique, welcomed parts of the one universe with a right to be here. Do this at night as they go to sleep. Put yourself into the role of a loving, wise, connected universe and speak to them from that place. What does your little human need to hear right now to feel most connected, loved and safe?
9. Prioritize Emotional Wisdom over all other forms of knowledge and intelligence. This is about modeling how to share their emotions, decode them, understand the emotions of others, and harness emotions to guide learning, growth and creativity. It can’t be overestimated how important it is to do this. What works magic is to do your best to feel, through empathy, the emotions they might be feeling in any moment; and test out your insight with them. They felled understood - “got” - and they can also put your right if they you don’t quite have it. I.e. If you are out all day without your partner, and they say “where’s mummy / daddy” and look a bit upset, you could say: “I imagine you might be missing mummy / daddy right now” and see if they agree. Their suffering will shift quickly when they are got like this. We have invented a new way of helping us all gauge and communicate emotions to each other. It’s a colour coding system. Code Red means someone is about to blow up: Back off. Code Blue means what we are asking the kids to do isn’t negotiable on this occasion. It’s important they listen to us. Code Yellow means they can do whatever they want - total freedom to shout, scream, jump around etc. Our son invented Code Black: When he feels sad about missing his Mum.
10. Mirror back everything they say so they know you get it; and teach them how to mirror back. This ensures you actively listen to them, and embeds this form of relating into their life. When we are actively listened to, we feel safe, connected, our stress response drops, and we are more likely to co-operate and collaborate. Same for them. So if they are upset about something, repeat back what their gripe is, matching them in heartfeltness but with added wisdom. Take care not to exacerbate and amplify their emotions but to match them and bring them into calm. You can then validate those emotions by saying “If you were you, I think i’d also be upset if X happened to me”. Watch the magic of mirroring infold…
11. Switch On to as many habits, beliefs and assumptions lying dormant within and transform those that are no longer fitting with the world. Spot how many patterns you exhibit that you learnt and mimicked from your parents and engage with an honest appraisal, using all of your wisdom and intelligence, about whether it is an appropriate way of think / behaving / feeling given what you know about the best of human experience. Is it time to break cycles of ancestral pain and habitual pattern? You are free to transform the stuff that no longer fits (you can use the process in the Switch On book and 21 Day Breakthrough Experience to do this) and surrender old beliefs, emotional triggers and habits that disempower both you and them. In particular, watch for how upset and angry you can get when you feel powerless, impotent; like you are doing your best or trying to get them to do something at you realize you can’t. Notice how much language you use that attempts to control, manage and predict their ebullient emotions. Amazing moments for profound, tangible, surrender!
12. Observe as much as possible the belief systems you are passing on to your kids and reflect on them as much as possible before you resign up to them. Do they fit your current, most wise and connected view of things? For example, do you really believe boys shouldn't have dolls… or would you love your son to experiment now with being a truly nurturing boy / man / father? Assumptions lie lurking at the heart of so many of our beliefs, convictions and opinions. Are you aware of yours? Conscious of where they originate? Can you switch on to them, purposefully, and surface them? Remember, assumptions are the mother of all mess-ups.
 
QUESTION: Describe the importance of play?
NSJ: Every child wants to play non-stop. And every thing we need to do with our kids can be turned into play and it becomes much easier to do! Take these two insights into everyday life and achieving goals, delivering excellence, working on our selves and our relationships, can become a whole new experience. Seriousness breed’s stress, which triggers shutdown. We can keep ourselves inspired through periods of fiasco and frustration with playfulness. Play keeps us creative even in the face of seemingly insurmountable problems. Play is nature’s way of learning. We can hang out at the edge of chaos, and actually enjoy it.
   Playfulness gives us a childlike sense of optimism and freedom, which can help us break out from stress and fear into a life of liberty. Every project becomes an opportunity to play in the sandbox. This is committed, wholehearted, focused activity; but play nevertheless! Play is a powerful lens to achieve mastery. Being playful keeps us curious and excited as we explore ways to move things forward. Play keeps us in a biodynamic harmony between tension and relaxation, activity and rest, Tiny Me (ego) and Great We (essence), as we hang out at the edge of chaos. We keep ourselves open, available, attentive, imaginative, committed; poised for another breakthrough at any moment.
 
QUESTION: What is ‘enlightened entrepreneurship’?
NSJ: This is one of the magnificent koans at the core of my life. It is a paradox, a conundrum, that must be lived to be fully grokked. In essence, it is the creative tension that arises when our hearts and minds experience two distinct truths:
   The first, the awakening to or realization of enlightenment: That we are part of the one universe; a sacred and blessed part of All That Is. That everything, including ourselves, is part of the Great Perfection. Nothing needs to be done; that no fame or fortune is necessary for us to be at one. That our Tiny Me is illusory, that I does not exist in any tangible way and so it matters least what that I does.
   The second is that there are urgent and pressing challenges effecting our species, our ecology, our planet. That people are suffering, in agony, being raped, humiliated, enslaved and abused, dying from malaria because they can’t afford nets. That we, with our energy and creativity, can make a difference to this suffering, right here, right now, if we commit. That our Tiny Me is the most powerful driver forward of tangible change. That conviction, focus, energy and effort result in impact.
   The paradox is how to know nothing needs to be done and that everything must be transformed at one and the same time; to know that we are nothing and yet everything at the same time; to harness our power and getting stuff done whilst at the same time never getting hooked, grippy, graspy… always ready to surrender everything into the Great Perfection of what Is.
   Enlightened entrepreneurship is committing to a real-world vision of how this world could be whilst returning to complete stillness and surrender whenever we become attached to any outcome occurring. For me, I hold a powerful and totally achievable vision of a world where enlightening and empowering media and experiences have transformed the lives of millions through my wisdom start-up www.ripeandready.com. My Switch On books, videos and toolkits are on channel on the Ripe & Ready platform. I am giving all my life blood, soul work, energy, and conviction - what I call Total Fucking Resolve - to this work - to the Switch On channel;, to the Thrive Up channel, to Wicked Wisdom channel and more; courting investors, corporate partners, next gen wisdom teachers, audiences, social media, building tech etc… all to empower the least powerful so they thrive and ensure their communities thrive… whilst running my leadership development and creative management consultancy working flat out to transform hearts and minds of corporate leaders so they ensure the most powerful organizations in the world become sustainable,  ethical and creative… all the while ensuring this work makes enough money to fund a family, a wisdom teaching and writing career and the start up… whilst writing my own books, articles, podcasts and the like… researching and developing Breakthrough Biodynamics… whilst being a conscious, switched on, attentive father, husband and son… without getting hooked on any of it!
   It means becoming a channel for all this conscious creativity without getting caught up in the quotidian barbs and tenterhooks of fame and fortune; in whether Oprah loves me or not; whether my publishers respect my work fully and promote it properly; whether this event or that event is going to make me a keynote; whether this TV show books me or this network wants me to host; whether I am getting paid properly for my genius etc etc etc It is knowing in every cell in my body that I am building my profile solely for the power it gives me to open up more doors, to raise funding for the project, philanthropy for the social mission, etc etc and REALLY mean it.. never letting my Tiny Me get high on my success and the puffery of people around me as I rise….
That is enlightened entrepreneurship!
 
QUESTION: Do you think Breakthrough BioDynamics can change the world and why?
NSJ: My compulsion to develop BB is equally fuelled by sheer curiosity to see if I can work out how transformational change - ie breakthrough - can be created and sustained at will (and how and why it happens in nature & culture)… and the systemic insight that until people, teams, leaders and societies know how to do this - and how to overcome what stops us changing our lives, companies and nations into ones that are sustainable, fit with our world and ensure we all - not just the lucky few - can thrive.
   We can use Breakthrough Biodynamics toolset to transform individual’s lives, heal past suffering and broken families, our parenting styles and so much more… but also as a framework for ushering in transformative change in leaders and corporations (which is how we use the tools in my consulting business).
   What makes BB so unique - and so uniquely ready to change this world we find ourselves in now - is that is unifies, in one theory / framework the two greatest sources of insight we have about how to thrive: advances in neurobiology, physics, chemistry and complexity; and pertinent and priceless wisdom from the great traditions which have furnished us with so much insight. Once we filter out the encrusted dogma and lack of metaphorical imagination of religion… and the rampant cynicism and lack of transcendent imagination of scientism, we are left with two rivers that flow into one great lagoon: Science and Spirit. That lagoon flows towards the oceans of equality, justice and brotherhood.
   BB attempts to describe - and so influence - (without the fiending for control stemming from prediction that is the shadow of the mechanistic scientist’s Will to Power) the logic that sits within the emergence of genuine, mindful and heart-ful creativity so that we harness it to bring about the change we all want to see: in our soulless productivity-driven workplaces; our community-less societies; our consumerist streets and stressed out lives.
   Already as we speak, of the nine processes that underpin life on Earth, four have exceeded “safe” levels: climate change, loss of a healthy biosphere, changing land systems and high level of pollutions flowing into the oceans because of fertiliser use. Unless we start changing ourselves, letting go of our desire for more; and with that transformation change how we act in the world… the stark reality of a truly messed up world is on our horizon. Add to that all the stress, depression, obesity, cancer and the like that is mounting up, and we can see misery went mainstream. Yet ALL of this is avoidable once we switch on, reconnect our heart, rewire and brain and remix our world. Literally all of it. Breakthrough Biodynamics gives us a safe, trusted and simplified process - centred around the Breakthrough Curve - for letting go of the old and creating the future with consciousness, connection and collaboration. This is not wishful thinking or naive humanism. This is lived experience from leading change in virtually type of system on the planet. It can be done. The question is whether we, individual and collectively, will switch on and stayed switched on long enough to co-create a switched on world where 100% can thrive, sharing our resources and ideas.
 
 
QUESTION: You gave spent the last decade working on your Ripe & Ready project - what is it and why have you dedicated so much of your life to it?
NSJ: When I was 30 years old I burnt out, after 6 years running a wildly successful start-up that was not built on all my values and my truest inspiration. Whilst physically recovering and seeking emotional and spiritual sustenance, my purpose emerged like a pellucid rainbow from the darkened sky.  My heart had be broken by my career choices. Working with my coach at the time, I grokked—in a moment of inconvenient truth—that I was using the majesty of psychology, neurobiology, philosophy, and anthropology to help rich companies get richer by inventing stuff that most of us don’t need; and then persuading us to buy it with marketing that suggests that we’re not sexy/smart/rich/good enough without it. In the middle of this breakdown experience I had a massive breakthrough. I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I had to focus on using my skills and talents to remind us all that we are already enough; and with that sense of abundance, harness our collective creativity to make a difference. I also realised that I had been given a unique combination of gifts that could allow me to move beyond the traditional model of wisdom teacher as itinerant guide and sporadic writer; and use my expertise as branding, scaleable product development, creative media and business model design to rebrand enlightenment / spirituality and make it mainstream for millions.
   As someone guided by Tikkun Olam and an absolute commitment to social justice, I set up a non-profit social enterprise first, as I have never been called to rebrand spirituality just for the middle classes. I have a vision where people from marginalised communities and ultra-low incomes also have access - in terms of location, format, language and cost. The social enterprise stalled when we found foundations unwilling to fund psychological and psycho-spiritual services and products; and impact investors unwilling to invest in “messy” problems like depression, anxiety and stress. So I attempted another model - to be a media production company for enlightening and empowering media. We had great success developing mental health and happiness content for the BBC; but found other networks and commissioning agents less interested: Most media gatekeepers are cynical and jaded. I also set out on the “Jamie Oliver” model of doing TV first so I could then use my fame to influence policy. 4 years ago I realised we needed to do all 3 of these models, whilst also bringing in more “Next Gen” teachers to collaborate; and corporations to fund the content so we didnt have to rely on 30-50 media gatekeepers in London, NYC and LA. The result is Ripe & Ready - we are building our own audience, our own media network and creative studio for wisdom content.
 
Nick Seneca Jankel is a wisdom teacher, social entrepreneur, and in-demand innovation and leadership
expert with a triple First from the University of Cambridge, England in medicine and philosophy. He has
advised multinationals (Nike, Microsoft, Disney) and social organizations (Oxfam, WWF), written for
newspapers and magazines (including The Guardian and The Financial Times), and anchored a BBC TV
series. Everything Nick does is centered on "switching people on" - helping individuals, teams and
organizations breakthrough old patterns and creates a thriving future. He is a partner of WECREATE
(www.wecreateworldwide.com) and founder of Ripe and Ready: www.ripeandready.com. For more go to