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In life’s journey, we must seek to reflect, learn, and grow. Welcome to the Road to Rediscovery, with your host, Aubrey Johnson.
Aubrey Johnson: Hello, and welcome to another great episode of the Road to Rediscovery. I’m your host, Aubrey Johnson. I’m so excited that you’re here with me today. We have a very special guest. We’re going to have a great conversation. As you all know, the Road to Rediscovery is about reflecting on life’s lessons to learn and grow from them and take it to the next level and help others who are struggling and are going through dark times.
Let’s take a moment to talk about visualization. When you visualize something, that can be an amazing seed of potential for what’s to come. With the growth mindset, visualization can be the driving force of becoming your better self. My next guest not only serves in this capacity, but he lives is. With 13 years of practice as a Buddhist, he empowers others through guided visualizations and music to help them realize their true potential.
Among Buddhism, he studied Reiki, Shamanic healing, mindfulness, and a lot more. Let’s welcome Jim Rajan to the show. Jim, hey. Welcome to the show, man. How are you doing today?
Jim Rajan: Hi, Aubrey. Thank you so much for inviting me on your show. It’s a pleasure. I’m really well. I’m really well and raring to go. I think we’re going to have a lovely conversation.
Aubrey: Likewise. Likewise, my friend. Let’s dive in. Share with the listeners where you’re from, your upbringing, and what you’ve discovered, especially in your formative years when it came to identity.
Jim: I’m half Indian, half English, and I grew up in the UK, and I was born there. Identity was something that was very difficult for me to find. When you’re of mixed races – I’m half English and half Indian, so I’m not English, and I’m not Indian. So, it took me many years to find out who I am and what do I stand for? What are my own values? Obviously, I have the values of my family. I have a wonderful family, and I have the conditioning of my country and education and my society.
I, from a very young age, felt unrooted and lost and didn’t understand life or didn’t understand who I was, and definitely didn’t understand how important it is to have a purpose or a mission in life. I just fell through my early years of life up until into my 20s and had no real understanding that the responsibility of my own life is in my hands and no one else’s.
Often, what people do is, we assume that we give away our power to other people, and that’s how life is. But when I began to understand to take care of my own energy and take responsibility for my own life, life became amazing. It took on some wonderfully, subtle new qualities, and it put me on a journey of learning and a journey of seeking spirit.
Aubrey: Very nice. You spoke about drawing your own energy and knowing that to build a life of purpose and your identity, not just an identity, but your identity that has to start from within. Right? A question that I’m sure the listeners are wondering because I think we’ve all been here at one time or another is, we naturally can receive energy from other people – positive energy, negative energy, depending on the words they say to us, the facial expressions, and just the interactivity.
So, we can draw energy from people. How do we start ourselves on the path where energy must be drawn from within to put us on the right track? Does that make sense? I think it happens, but where’s that spark to where it happens from within?
Jim: Yeah. I think, for me, enlightenment, essentially, which is what you’re talking about, came through a lot of suffering. I had various moments of suffering in my life from quite an early age and difficult situations. Those difficult situations made me reflect on this, on this entity that sits here in front of you talking. What is this? Why am I here?
But much more than that, what am I doing? What is the point of humanity? I took a real kind of head-on collision course with a lot of issues that no one could give me the answer to. Everyone who had an answer, their answer seemed a bit too polished or overly organized to draw my energy into something without its being its own specific thing.
I had various moments where I had to really look deep inside and say, “Why has that thing happened to me? Obviously, it’s here for a reason. Everything for me in life is a lesson, and some of those lessons hurt. That’s fine, and they’re supposed to hurt. Life is not supposed to be easy. Otherwise, you wouldn’t learn anything.
I have this vision that no one can prove, but I have this vision that before we come to this life, we decide on certain things that may happen in it. There’s a book called something to do with making contracts with life or something. I’m here to learn lessons, and those lessons, in a way, were freely decided by me. So, I feel that when those difficult times came, it drew me inside to the point where I arrived at my essence.
I am this; I am from this country. I have this background. My family is like this. I have this kind of education. I have all of these stories that I’ve been given, but what’s the story that I’m giving. I’m living a load of stories, but are any of them actually mine? And if not, why not? Obviously, not, so what am I going to do about it?
That took me on a journey to find a mission and find a way of living my life that was of value to other people, but more to me. I’m doing something, even the tiniest little things like smiling at someone, or singing a song to a child – anything. It doesn’t have to be huge, enormous missions of becoming a well-famous whatever. No, just tiny little things in one’s everyday life to show me that there’s a reason that I was given this life, I think. Yeah.
Aubrey: I see. That’s beautiful. It makes perfect sense. The spark can actually be an outward event or something that happens to us with a circumstance or a situation in our life, but the self-awareness that we have, and the growth mindset that we have, that takes over from within as a result of the initial spark of whatever that event is. Right?
Jim: Yeah. For example, I’m very fortunate. My father is of Indian descent, but he was born in East Africa in Tanzania. His parents migrated there because they had no money, and they were told in East Africa that there was a way of making a living. When my father was 18 years old, they had literally nothing, but he had a UK passport because of the Commonwealth.
So, he went on his own to the UK in the early 60s to a country where in that moment it was very racist. It was very closed-minded. It was very empirical, and he built a life for himself. I’m so fortunate to have a story of someone who went from nothing and understood that they could build or construct their own existence instead of just, “Well, this is life. This is existence. Fit in it somewhere because that’s all you’ve got.”
I had that wonderful image. To know his spark, to know that his spark was a better life, a life of opportunity, a need for opportunity that wasn’t available to him when maybe many people around him were happy with what they had or were surviving without looking for anything different. I think that the spark that you talk about, I think everyone has that spark coming to them in many different ways, but many of us, our eyes are closed, or we’re not aware of it, or we’re not ready for it to come.
In the case of many people, there has to be real explosion of, “I’m sorry. You cannot carry on living like this anymore. It doesn’t work. You’re going to destroy your life, and you’re going to have to pick up the pieces.” But in picking up the pieces, magic is going to happen. You’re going to find some wonderful opportunities, wonderful gifts. You will have to go through suffering. It will be difficult, but the greater good is at the other end for you.
Aubrey: 100%. I completely agree, Jim. You brought one thing up when it came to story, talking about your story, and what story are you living? I was wondering what your thoughts are when it comes to people’s stories. In my view, everyone has a story, but does your story define who you are?
Jim: How does your story define who you are? I think it does if you let it. I think if you allow yourself to be passive or if you allow yourself to live a reactive life instead of a proactive life. I’ll give you one of my stories. I live in Spain. I come from the UK, but I live in Spain because I have a daughter, who, when she was a baby, she was extremely ill. She had a very rare form of cancer when she was just nearly two years old.
That was the most extremely, extremely painful experience that a person could go through. She survived. We worked incredibly hard to make sure she did, but there were a lot of other people in that sphere who I would see in Hospital with their own children having chemotherapy or having operations or having, frankly, horrid things done. You could see they had already given up, and they were just going through the motions.
Maybe, there was even an assumption of not getting out of this with a good result. That happened, and I saw so many people like that. It angered me because I thought, “Well, if this kid, if my daughter has chosen me to hold her hand through this thing that she essentially decided or knew that she was going to go through in this life, how dare I not live up to that expectation? How dare I?
So, obviously, my wife and I – it was a very difficult experience. My wife is from Argentina, so she didn’t have any family in the UK apart from my family and me. It was a very difficult experience. Eventually, my daughter was okay, and now she’s 11 years old, and she’s amazing, and she’s on fire. But she does have certain challenges, and we found that she needed to live in warmer weather, which is why we moved to Spain.
You see, that story, my story of that is no greater or no lesser than any of your stories or any of the stories of the people listening to this, but it’s one that defined, not me – it defined the quality of my action. The quality of my ability to take action. For example, within that story, I had somebody sit my wife and me down and say, “Your daughter probably is not going to survive this.” Imagine that. It was horrible. I really don’t want you to imagine that.
There were also times when I had to fight tooth and nail against oncologists who wanted to give my daughter more and more chemotherapy because they frankly had no idea what they were doing. They were going by a protocol of, “Well, we do this, and if this doesn’t work, we do that. Then, if that doesn’t work, we do that.” But there was no common sense. There was no someone sitting down going, “All right. So we’ve got a problem here. What are all of the different parts of that problem? Let’s work out what’s the best possible solution.”
And I was doing it. My wife and I were the only ones doing it to the point where it caused me to take actions that were for me – I was amazed at how brave I was. I was amazed at how brave I was because of the actions that it made me take, and it’s that spark – if there was a spark of, “No, I can’t accept this. I can’t accept this way of life; I cannot accept this thing is happening. I have to do something.”
There were so many people who were just like, “I can’t do anything. I’m not a doctor. I’m not an oncologist. I don’t know any of these things.” As soon as you put yourself below someone else, you’ve given up, and there’s no difference between me or you or an oncologist who’s been practicing 30 years. Who’s got more common sense? Who’s got the ability to really think something seriously through from their heart? How many of us do that?
But so many people – we just live from our mind. We just live from the stories that other people have given us that we haven’t even really bothered to make our own identity out of. I would say stories are what make up life. Life is just a list of experiences, really, and for me, the more I can cram in there, the better.
Aubrey: You and I both, Jim. I love it. Thank you for that insight. Much, much appreciated. The experience you mentioned with your daughter and going through cancer and chemotherapy, I’m a father. I have a son. I have a daughter – incredibly traumatic. I can’t begin to imagine what you’ve gone through, and I can’t begin to imagine just what was weighing on the hearts and the minds of the other parents that you saw in the hospitals as they were taking their children through chemotherapy and all the other types of treatments. That is something a parent never wishes to go through or wishes of any other parent to go through.
I must commend you and your wife for your tenacity and your resilience and your resolve because the beautiful face you see when you look in your daughter’s eyes today is the result of you refusing to accept this as fate. So, I want to ask you. What reflection points have you had on that experience that has strengthened you for what you do and how you serve today?
Jim: I think that the main thing that I’ve learned from that experience was the gratitude for that experience. I don’t want to sound like I was any better than any other parent or more powerful or more wise than any other parent. I spend a lot of my time really trying to inspire the other people there to take other options and look for other ways to build their own lifeforce or strengthen their own resolve or energy or resilience.
Really, I used to find myself talking a lot afterward about that experience and saying, “I’m so grateful for it.” Obviously, I’m not grateful that my child went through that experience, but what that experience gave me was mind-blowing. It, essentially, destroyed my understanding of normal life. Not only that, but it ripped me from normal life and just spat me out on the side, and I was lost.
Then, normal things didn’t make sense, and all of the things that I used to care about were of no value. And all of the games, all of the little games that I used to play that everyone plays of gentle manipulation, or of one-upmanship, or competition, all of those just fell to pieces in my hands. I thought, “I’m genuinely, honestly grateful that somebody has done that to me because then I can rebuild my life from the ground up in a way that I’m really proud of.
I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through something like that, but at the same time, I kind of would because if a lot of people – they believe in their own life so much that if you were to tear them away from that and sit them on the sidelines and go, “Have a think about that for a bit,” they would have to do the same thing or completely give up.
I believe too much in the human spirit. I don’t believe someone would give up. It might take a while, but eventually you would take your life in your own hands and go, “All right. Yeah. Okay. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I’m going to do something because I have to.” It’s the spark. What is the spark? The spark is, it’s intention, it’s the power of intent, the will to create and transform something or do something or make something.
Aubrey: I get it, and I understand. It’s really something. The makeup of our spirit or fiber or fabric, the metal within us truly comes through in the most dire and desperate of times, where the spirit is driven to the edge in you thinking to yourself, “It’s do or die. Am I going to do this, or am I going to wither away?” The strength of the human spirit, I feel as well, decides to fight. Decides to keep the resolve.
Jim: Interestingly, I do that. I have an Instagram channel, and I do a video every day. I did a video the other day about conviction, and we had an affirmation about conviction. So many people responded to it because when you’re like, “I know this thing is going to hurt, but I’m doing it anyway.”
Jim: “I don’t care. If I die, I die. There’s another life waiting for me, maybe or maybe not, whatever your belief is. But I’m living from a place of real conviction. Conviction is the most transformative, powerful – I don’t know what the word is – energy or force that human beings have.
Aubrey: I agree. I really do. One thing that gets me by that I think of when I’m in a moment where I’m in conviction of myself for something that I’ve done. Conviction, to me, is breaking down to build up. Now, that is productive. That is transformational to your point, in my mind, it is. What is not, is condemning. Condemning is not productive. That is not transformational, again, in my mind. To condemn, you’re just shutting it down and not doing anything about it. But conviction really breaks you down to build you up.
Jim: Yeah. I think everyone has the capacity to live with conviction. I think everyone has the capacity to live with meaning and live with mission. I think that our education or the education system needs to radically change because instead of filling children with information, if you gave a child the opportunity to grow their own self-esteem and their own conviction, their own inner strength, or in a power, or in a wisdom, or just to believe in themselves. They could get that information themselves from whatever means necessary in their life.
But that person would grow into someone of real value for their society, and they wouldn’t have to be some enormously powerful leader of politics or anything they could be, something as wonderful as a flower shop owner. But every person who came into that shop would leave feeling like, “Wow! That person just talking to me has changed something in me.
Aubrey: Yeah. For sure. Absolutely. It starts with that spark and with a change, and I don’t think it would be a major change, but in the educational system, to push that spark so it cultivates into a beautiful flame within our youth to go and do the things that you’re mentioning, Jim.
Jim: There’s always positive and negative in life. Everyone has light, and everyone has darkness, and you always will. There will always be light and dark. There will always be positive and negative in your life, but how you go to that negative, do you see that negative thing as an obstacle or as an opportunity? You say it’s a learning experience or something that’s going to destroy you.
I really feel the way that you build that is you have to – essentially, I’m repeating myself. You have to build it. No one will build that for you. It’s for you to take each day as something special and use each day to grow. For example, I have failed in my life thousands of times. Early on, the failures hurt me, and I used to feel terrible. I thought, “I’m useless. I can’t do this. I’m of no value. Other people are great at this stuff, and I’m useless at it.”
Eventually, I kept on failing so much that I kind of got a bit bored of putting myself down. I thought, “Well, all right. Well, I failed that. Why? What did I do wrong? Well, maybe it was that. I’ll do something different.” Then, maybe I failed again. “Okay, it’s still not working, but I feel this urge to go down this road. I’ll just keep on and something will sort itself out.” Perseverance – if you could teach a kid perseverance, that’s like a miracle in a package for a child.
Aubrey: It totally is. In fact, that trickles over to my next question for you. I want us to dive into the amazing things that you’re doing to help people: giving them inspiration, giving them empowerment, helping them to visualize and realize their own potential of what they’re capable of. Can you share with the listeners, how are you helping serve people in that capacity?
Jim: I’m doing a lot of different things because I’m a bit hyperactive, and I can’t really stop. I’m very creative, and I’m just always doing stuff all the time. Really, about 25 years ago, I got into Shamanic healing, and Reiki, and different kinds of healing, and then Buddhism. I practice a form of Japanese Buddhism called Nichiren Buddhism.
Nichiren Buddhism is a very empowering practice, and it’s a very active practice. You don’t meditate. You chant a particular phrase, and sometimes, you’re even shouting this phrase over and over again. Essentially, what you’re doing in Nichiren Buddhism is you are enlivening if that’s a word, empowering your own lifeforce. You’re giving yourself strength to then go out into the world and deal with life.
You do it every day, and it’s a very disciplined practice. You do it every day, twice a day, and there’s a whole organization behind it called the Soka Gakkai, which in English means a value-creating society. We are a group of people who go and try to create value in society. Now, when I started practicing Buddhism, I was doing healing and all kinds of different things, but sometimes, I didn’t really believe in myself, and I didn’t believe in my own abilities.
As I carried on chanting, as I carried on my Buddhist practice, I became more truly myself, and I started to more truly believe in myself and who I am and what I’m here to do and not reject it and say, “But that’s silly,” and compare myself to other people. Comparing yourself to other people is the venom of all things.
Aubrey: Very true.
Jim: It is, but eventually, I got over that. I thought, “Well, I love helping people. I am a healer. I’m going to find a way to help people help themselves. I do a thing called healing ceremonies where, to be honest with you, most of my clients are in North America and Canada, some in Brazil, a lot of people in Europe, where I essentially connect without Zoom or Skype, just with the person’s frequency, what the person’s essential frequency or purest frequency and then help it rebalance and relay back to that person what they told me.
That’s one of the things I do, and I’m really proud of that, and I’m helping people to become empowered by essentially listening to themselves because I’m connecting to you, and I’m not interpreting, I’m saying, “This is what you’re saying. This is what you’re telling me that you need. So, go and do this, and this, and this because that’s what your heart desires.”
Then, I have this Instagram channel where we do affirmations. Now, affirmations, I originally found in my Buddhist practice because when you really say something from your heart – I have a book that I’ve written with some affirmations in it, and it’s a beautiful thing. The best one in it is: Today, I’m on fire. You can say that from your head. “Today, I’m on fire. Today, I’m on fire.” It’s just words, and it doesn’t mean anything.
But once you really say it from here, from your heart, “Today, I’m on fire.” That creates a relayed response within you. Your cells hear that, and they go, “Oh. All right. Today, we’re on fire. Come on. Let’s go.” That then produces action within you, and you start doing things differently. With affirmations, you need to do it a lot. “Today, I’m on fire,” for example.
That’s one of the ones when I really started the channel, and we had loads of people doing it, maybe 20 or 30 times a day. By the end of the day, the people were sending me messages. I’m probably one of the few people who likes receiving direct messages on Instagram, so look me up and send me a message. But the people were like, “You know what? That one was amazing. It’s like some kind of energetic thing happened, and I didn’t even feel like I did anything, but something changed.
I had a woman the other day who said to me – she bought my book. She picked three affirmations, and she’s having a very difficult time with coronavirus. Her husband lost his job. She has a chronic illness – it’s not for me to tell to the whole world. But she said, “Right. I’m going to pick these three, and I’m going to do them.
After doing it for three days, her husband got offered a job. The amount of pain she had massively decreased, and she also found alternative medicine ways of helping herself. Both big and little things just seemed to happen to her. It’s not magic because magic doesn’t exist, and it’s not a miracle because – a miracle is something that you produce when you’re in a very special state.
So, essentially, an affirmation causes you to be in a very special state, and then really because you’re vibrating in a different way – people banter the word vibration around a lot, and it’s almost a bit hippy-ish, but it’s like when you’re energetic, when your frequency is different because every part of your body has its own frequency, each cell, each organ has its own frequency.
When your frequency changes, it’s impossible for the environment to be the same. If you change, it’s impossible for your environment to be the same. That’s a very Buddhist thing. Your environment is a mirror, so if you’re feeling down and everything is rubbish, and you’re unhappy, then you’re going to have an awful day.
But if you’re like, “Wow! Today, I’m on fire,” even if you have to convince yourself you’re on fire and you have to say the affirmation 100 times, on the hundredth time, you’re on fire, and your day has changed. So, you are the master of your reality. Many people hear that from me and then, “I’ve been conditioned to not believe that.” Well, come to me. Let’s help you remove some of that conditioning because everyone has layers and layers of condition. It’s very easy to remove. It takes work, of course.
When you start to live your purer self, from a place of purity without all these stories you’ve been given, without all of the difficulties that you had when you were a child that you weren’t able to overcome, you can literally vibrate on a different frequency, and I mean that in a scientific way, and your external life cannot carry on the same. It has to be different.
Aubrey: Well, I tell you, Jim, you must be really, really in tune, not with just yourself, but with things around you. The reason why I say that is because it’s almost as if you were reading the questions on my paper. That was my next question. I was going to ask you to break down vibe and frequency in its truest sense, and spot-on, nail on the head, that was my next question.
So, hey, we’re not going to worry about that one, but one thing I do want the listeners to understand and to learn more about from you with your incredible insights, Jim, is your guided visualizations. From what I read on your site, some of your followers have said your guided visualizations have felt like flying or floating through dreams. I don’t want to say walk us through a guided visualization but just describe for us at a high level how that experience would go for someone.
Jim: Yeah. You have meditation where you sit in silence. There are lots of different kinds of meditation: Daoist meditation, Buddhist meditation, where you essentially do a thing while sitting in silence. Then you have guided meditation to where you have someone, a recording or a person in front of you saying, “Now, we’re going to take you through a thing, to do a thing within your body.”
I’ve learned from some amazing, amazing masters and some amazing people about how you can really use visualization, which is not meditation. You do sit there in silence with your eyes closed, or maybe you lie down even, but you’re using the power of imagination because when you trick the subconscious mind, you can essentially get it to create things for you.
Now, you have the conscious mind, and you have the subconscious mind. Let me try and do this in a clear way. The subconscious mind is the creative. It’s the manifester in your life. It just happens to produce things in your life and situations and people to help you on your path of seeking spirit, for example.
The conscious mind is the one that you use to calculate and maneuver your daily life. The conscious mind is the one who tells the subconscious mind what to do. So if you can find a way of directing or manipulating or enforcing a certain thing on the conscious mind, it sends that information to the subconscious mind, and the subconscious mind will make changes.
That is, obviously, just a theory that I can’t prove, but there are a lot of masters out there who go into great detail about these things. So, what I’ve done is through my own meditative practice, and for me, every day, I have to chant, and I have to meditate, and I have to do some kind of yoga, and something to do with my body as well because if not, I’m a disaster. I think many people are as well. So, through my meditative practice and a lot of research, I found a lot of interesting ways generally, through storytelling, to take people on a journey within themselves to do something.
Aubrey: I see. Okay.
Jim: The other day, I did a live on Instagram that went down beautifully about – it was a part of one of my courses, and the course is called Avalon, the Path to True Confidence. In Avalon, there’s one part, which is called The Ceremony of the White Feather. I won’t tell you the whole story, but essentially, you go back, and we take you on a very visual journey, and it’s not hypnosis. It’s really just you using your imagination to take yourself on a journey, and we take you back to meet all your ancestors and find the one who wasn’t given a white feather. If you go and check out that course, you’ll understand why.
Jim: The people who came back to me about that Instagram live, they couldn’t believe that they were able to go back and see a particular ancestor and see the trauma that person had gone through, and then they could do something about it by redeeming or helping that person giving them the white feather so that person could then carry on to their next life.
While that is a story, it comes from factual ideas. I haven’t just come up with that. Really visualizations, what they do is they help you think in a different way and process things in a different way, and in so doing, your thoughts have changed, and your understanding of life has changed, and therefore, your subconscious mind is listening, going, “Ah. Okay. I’m not going to do that anymore. We’re going this way.”
Aubrey: I see.
Jim: So, you tricked it. It’s not really a trick that’s a horrible trick, but essentially, you’ve got one over on your subconscious mind to help you release trauma or to help you understand something about yourself, and therefore, empower you. All of my work, Nichiren Buddhism, all of my work is about empowering other people.
When I do a healing ceremony with someone – I had one the other day, and some things came out that were actually quite dark and negative. If I give you that information in a dark and negative way, are you going to feel better? Not, really. In fact, I’m going to make you feel worse, and I’m going to make you doubt yourself, and I’m going to help your confidence to go down. So, it’s up to me to find a way to deliver information to you that is empowering to you that you could use because I work really hard to use my life every day.
Jim: And I will other people to do that. I really, really try and will other