Healing the Heart to Become a Social Artist
Does life feel like a struggle? Do you feel like you're constantly competing over limited resources to get ahead? What about when meeting people, especially the opposite sex - do you feel anxious and incomplete unless you get something from them? If you answered yes to any of these.. you're not alone.
We live in a world where we believe we must go and take to serve the self. We take this attitude and become separate, self-serving machines. We neglect concern over the well-being of others unless it serves us too. We feel we need to force and control outcomes in order to survive, and through this we resort to actions governed by survival and motivated by fear. So many of us interact with others this way. You want approval. You want the girl to think you're funny. You want your boss to be impressed. You're told you need to 'Game' them. You feel like you constantly need something from others. But you're wrong. They need something from you.
If you believe that you have to struggle through life, that the sole purpose of your existence is to work hard so you can pay the rent and fill your belly, then you have successfully fallen into society's trap - that adulthood means becoming another pawn on the chessboard of the working world, with little if no room for flourishing with simple childlike exuberance. You probably think you're beyond all that now. We are raised from a very early age by our parents, our teachers and our environment that this is a world in which you need to take in order to survive, so please don't blame yourself if this is what you believe. We all have at some point. The one thing missing from our curriculum is the tools we need to THRIVE.
Social Heartistry is a way of being that navigates people out of a mental prison and into the heart space. From this centre of creation we no longer see the world as separate, cold objects that need to be manipulated and controlled in our favour. Instead, we come from the heart of a child - who sees everything with child-like curiosity and wonder and wants to reconnect and co-create with that which is around them. We are full of gratitude and play. Full of unconditionality. You see, we already have everything that we need - all the riches, all the happiness, the great relationships and the sense of fulfilment - but we unconsciously block ourselves from recognising this due to believing that we have to work hard and be someone we're not in order to accumulate the missing pieces. So instead of chasing the carrot on the stick, forever chasing that something that's always just beyond you and ending up feeling empty because of this, we come from a place of already having everything. Because the truth is, you already have everything you need inside you. When it comes to the social world, no one is naturally weak and desperate. We can all summon a vast reservoir of strength and value. You have so much to give and share with the world, you just probably don't know what it is yet.
Social Heartistry takes you out of the prison of the mind and into the palace of your heart - where all the miracles and amazing things in life unfold. All of a sudden, from a place of simply connecting to yourself and expressing, life begins to take on a wholly new dimension - one where your own true value starts to come to the fore and you begin to realise that you are so much more than you previously thought.
At its heart, Social Heartistry is a way of life. Combining an acceptance of who you are whilst presenting yourself out into the world. Cascading outwards with effortless ease. It's a feeling of wanting to co-create with all that which is around you, wrapped in a state of pure play, and outward expression.
So how did this all come about?
It all started with a guy called John Cooper - a self-styled pick-up artist turned Social Heartist. John's life was fine until the day he got dumped by his girlfriend - and all of a sudden he started to question the life he had built for himself. Why did she do it? Was it my fault? Am I not good enough for her? And then, the inevitable "fuck you! I can have any woman I want...!" This led him into the dark and dangerous world of pick-up artistry...
Pick-up artistry (PUA) is a form of strategy that some men use in order to pick up girls, literally - whether that be techniques, mechanics or just a cheesy chat up line that your brother taught you to use. Also known as ‘Game’, pick-up is all about taking at its core - using women as leverage to fill the void you feel inside. When part of you thinks that only by getting laid will you feel better about your life and feel better about yourself, you've fallen head-first into the ego's trap - that only by acquiring can you be truly happy. Whether it's money, women or fast cars, the ego believes that the only way to be truly happy and successful is by accumulating more and more things (or in this case, women...)
Living life this way is all head and no heart and is synonymous with a survivalist mentality. It's all about 'what can I take' rather than 'what can I create.' It is vampiric and reptilian in nature, fundamentally preying upon women in order to fill a void within yourself. The problem is, once you've had your fill you soon find yourself needing more. It's a vicious cycle that can only be satisfied by constant taking, getting laid with woman after woman to stave off your inner feelings of emptiness and inadequacy. And if you get 'rejected' one too many times, your ego is left feeling battered and bruised and your vulnerable core painfully exposed.
John soon realised the fallacy of the life he was living. From being someone who was actually quite attractive to women before he got dumped, he soon discovered that by doing pick-up he was actually attracting fewer women into his life and was repelling that which he most desired. Unsure why this was the case, he ended up taking part in various courses and bootcamps in order to rev up his success rate with women. Again, this led him only downwards - women were put off by all the techniques and strategy and just ended up avoiding him.
Instead of delving deeper into strategies and techniques to acquire women, John soon realised it WAS these very techniques that were distancing and repelling himself from that which he most deeply desired - genuine human connection. The penny finally dropped when he realised there’s a massive difference between deploying a strategy to get a result, and simply being with a woman intimately. One is quantifiable and hinges on success or failure. And the other is qualitative and is fulfilled in every moment shared. John looked back at the pick up industry with fresh eyes and saw how toxic it was. He almost couldn't believe he was a part of it.
Acting as a lone crusader he gradually began to challenge the PUA community, and came under much attack for doing so. As people, once having accepted an idea or state of being as fact, hate to be told that we’re wrong. Resistance was inevitable but John knew that he had to keep plugging away in order to take men out of the adolescent mind-frame that is pick-up - even if they didn’t like it at first. He knew it was in their best interests to be shown a new way of showing up in the world that didn’t revolve around heartless taking.
Social Heartistry began in the dating community first, more specifically the PUA community. John has been radically transforming men who are looking to change not only their connections with women but their entire outlook on life through the lens of Social Heartistry.
Social Heartistry - Welcome to the new paradigm for human connection
Before you jump to any kind of conclusions, this isn't just another bunch of hippies who are gonna tell you to 'love yourself more' so that you can live in a land of rainbows and unicorns. Neither is this about holding hands, singing Koom Baya and doing yoga positions. This is not about shutting yourself off from the world never to interact with anyone. This is in fact quite the opposite. Through Social Heartistry you will learn to appreciate yourself and feel more comfortable in your own skin, bridging yourself out into the world from your true self, with so much to give and share with others that you can't help but be attractive. Instead of looking to 'fill your hole', you go out into the world 'feeling whole'...
Filling the hole
We tend to live life like Pac Man or as John calls it, "Lack man" - always chasing, hunting and needing that thing before we feel balanced and ok. This is how we start off in school, chasing the qualification then onto work and the promotion. Then onto marriage and the mortgage & the 2.4 children. The chase actually never ends. Then one day we wake up and realise life was meant to be enjoyed in every moment. Every single moment. But by then it's too late.
We spend our entire lives filling our hole. Who hasn't had a sense of relief when receiving a wave of likes for a photo they have just uploaded on social media? And the apprehension when you're waiting for the first one. You see, this incessant need for external validation permeates ALL aspects of our life. And we all face it in one way or another.
Here's the thing, there's nothing wrong with uplifting your sense of self from time to time but when something you do works to fill emptiness, take away loneliness, get attention or avoid pain, it becomes a filling of the hole. You could say an addiction, using external gratification as a way to avoid taking responsibility for our own feelings, much like our metaphor of the heroin user that needs a hit to feel balanced.
While filling the hole may make you feel good for the moment, the hole requires constant filling up like a tank of petrol. Whilst it's full, you feel like a king, but when it's running empty you feel desperate and low. Ultimately in the long run this lowers your sense of self-worth because a quick fix creates longer suffering. The sad thing is, we exploit each other just to fill our holes too, such as entering into co-dependent relationships, going on the hunt to "get" laid, and abusing others to get ahead.
But there is another way - and it all starts, surprise surprise, with you...
Your Inner Child - the key to rediscovering your true nature
Do you remember when you were a young child? You experienced joy intrinsically in-the-moment. You were full of play and creativity. You knew intuitively to experience joy through giving and gratitude, not logically or analytically. Whilst experiencing that joy and playing, you did not seek anything in return. There was no social fear. Life was an exploration.
Then we grow up and we lose connection with our inner child, and we move more into separation, competition and survival. We are taught to “grow up”, “don’t cry”, “man up”, “work hard”, “earn money”, “pull yourself together”. Adulthood seems to mean slowly killing off the childlike spirit. We lose our ability to play, give and feel connected. We no longer have a sense of innocent curiosity and wonder. Our energy highs come from coffees and redbulls. We sit in bars and scoff at children who are running around in a natural state of play, whilst we throw poison down ourselves with alcohol and nicotine. And we think kids are silly!
We are only happy once we have reached an outcome, even though the joy is in every moment. We become intellectuals but to the detriment of our natural intelligence and talents of creativity, intuition and limitless potential. We start to look old and tired and we focus on maintaining our physical bodies but we forget about the playful child in us who is full of life and is our true source of vitality. Does any of this resonate with you? Would you like to begin to re-create a life based around this unlimited joy and capacity for self-expression?
It's time to break down the paradigms of what it means to be a grown up and rediscover our childlike nature. Notice that there is a difference between childish and childlike - to be childish is to act immaturely, crying and moaning petulantly when things don't go our way. To be childlike is to come at the world from a place of openness, intrigue and exploration. The former is driven by pain and contraction, the latter inspired by a willingness to expand and truly participate in life.
Now don't get it twisted, this does not mean we have an excuse to cast away our adult responsibility and interact solely from a place of reckless abandon. It means to add the adult onto the child - embracing both simultaneously within us. Much like the menorah candles in Jewish tradition; Once one candle is lit, then the next. (Rather than blowing one out and lighting a new).
Still feeling resistance to the idea of embracing the child spirit. Let’s break this down. If you're 30 years old, the child in you is 30 years old, yet the adult in you is only 12 or so years old (depending on when society deems us adults). So the adult is actually the offspring of the child, right? The child came first, and was around for many years before the adult you came into the world. So then, if we know this, why do we only value the adult in us and not the child, who has been around since the day we were born? Is it not the child that has seen everything that has happened in our lives? Who then has the wisdom from all our experiences?
Cast your mind back. Do you remember having to try desperately hard to "approach" other kids and make friends when you were a child? Were you working for outcomes to feel good about yourself? Did you feel the need to take in order to 'get ahead'?
No? Maybe it's time to 'get a heart' instead. The Inner Child is your source of life, that link back to your truest self that is boundless and unrestricted by material items and the need to control. It is freedom, play and innocent wonder in its purest sense - not trying to force some kind of outcome to a situation or from a person, but co-creating with life because this is what the world meant for you. This is what Social Heartistry is - a state of childlike creative potential and the desire to allow it to unfold.
There is nothing to sell here, nothing to take from you - because Social Heartistry IS you. You already are a Social Heartist, all it takes is a change of perspective. The only question is how willing you are to let go of your current paradigm and the need to be in control.
Think about what you currently believe about the world and others. Is what you believe fulfilling you right now? Is it serving you in creating a happy, harmonious life full of amazing things, situations and people?
If not, read on...
The mission of Social Heartistry is to guide people to heal their hearts and become social artists. Working through their pain and expressing to the world and others from their uniqueness. By doing so reconnecting others to their true power and bringing back a sense of community.
The 3 Core SH Principles
These are the 3 core principles that encompass Social Heartistry. These principles help navigate people into the heart of their true self, and cultivate the essence of unconditionality. Everything comes back to this:
Giving (intentionally) - Interacting and expressing to people without any need for reciprocity. Much like the sun beams a ray of sunshine and doesn't demand anything back. If someone chooses to step in the shade the sun isn't rejected. Much the same, we keep on shining relentlessly.
Play - playing with people and with life without the need for hitting goals and getting closure. Connecting back to the sheer delight of the experience for the sake of it. Moment by moment gratification. By letting go in this way, we attract much more than we ever expected. The goals in fact take care of themselves.
Autonomy - at the very core of us we are all complete. Bringing ourselves back into wholeness is about healing the fragmented aspects of our psyche; reconnecting to our childhood wounds and working through them. Shedding off the layers of conditioning and then reconnecting to our creative spirit so we can express unconditionally and playfully, without any need for approval. Then can we step out into the world ready to co-create as Social Heartists.
No dogma - This is NOT a cult or dogmatic belief system. The concepts of Social Heartistry are not owned by anyone, as they are primordial truths that we all know and share deep within. All that John has done is discovered these truths and articulated them in a way that can be applied in daily life. Ultimately Social Heartistry is a signpost to that which transcends all labels. It is a way to navigate out of existing fear based paradigms and into a more loving and authentic way of showing up. Once you do that, you can do away with any labels.
Internal rulers / independent thinking - Question everything. Be sceptical about everything, even this. Life is such that people want to give away their power and take on information as if it were a truth to avoid personal responsibility. Ultimately the truth is that which resides within you (your internal ruler). Not some external guru. Any guru who demands your obedience is a false prophet. A real teacher empowers you and sets you free to explore your life experience with complete artistic freedom tempered by a code of morals and personal responsibility.
Service and artistry - instead of acquiring material gain and dominance; bringing expansion, change and harmony to the world is the motivation. We do this by encouraging everyone to become social artists. No two artists are ever the same. And that’s why we facilitate everyone to own their own unique expressions of themselves and paint that out into the world.
How are we going to do this?
John has already begun bringing the message of Social Heartistry out into the world through his work in the dating community, more specifically the PUA community. Whilst we want to continue working within the dating community, we are now branching out and spreading the message of Social Heartistry as far and wide as possible, particularly in areas where it is most needed. These include:
● Corporate World
● Affecting influential people all over world
And many others, all of which act as a positive organ of change for the greater whole. By doing this work we will be transforming the world at large - like a domino effect, where each affected domino will in turn affect another domino, and so on. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will the world change overnight. Whilst our vision is at its core idealistic, we are aware of the practical nature of the world we live in and of us as people. Therefore, to give you more of an idea of the actual action steps we take to spread the message of Social Heartistry, here is a list of some of the things we do or will soon be doing:
● Talks and seminars
● Publishing books
● Private coaching and retreats
● Training people to become Social Heartistry teachers
● The online Social Heartistry Dating academy (a 6-week course to fast-track you to
becoming a Social Heartist)
● Debtonations - a fun campaign for giving to strangers.
Who is Social Heartistry for?
You might be thinking by now that Social Heartistry is about becoming some highly-evolved spiritual monk that has no need for money or the opposite sex. Perhaps up a mountain hugging a tree. This couldn't be further from the truth - in fact, by becoming a Social Heartist and living the truths of Social Heartistry, you'll soon realise it's the most active thing you can do and is immensely grounded in the social world. You'll soon be attracting not only more amazing people into your life who you really connect with, but more abundance of all kinds - including opportunities for self-growth. Also, it is for absolutely everyone - so no matter where you are right now or who you think you are, you can become a Social Heartist. And it's easier than you think. Why? Because everyone began that way as children. It's not that you don't have it, it’s just that you've forgotten. You've layered over the top of it with years of conditioning. It is less of a building process and more of a revealing - an unpacking. So you too can see the world through the eyes and heart of your inner child.
Let's make something clear: being a Social Heartist is not another ego identification. Consider it like a temporary hand-holder whilst climbing a mountain. Ultimately Social Heartistry is a way of navigating out of the mind so that YOU can be your own social artist. And by doing so bring your own uniqueness outwards.
Ok so what next. How can I become a Social Heartist?
OK, if you've got this far you're probably now wondering what you can do to start applying these principles. Well, here are some tips to get you started:
Autonomy & Heart healing - Stop fighting your negative emotions or trying to bury them. One of the keys to reconnecting with your Inner Child is to get out of your head and into your body, where all your feelings are. In the west we are taught to avoid negative emotions like fear, sadness and anger and instead take recluse in the mind and overthink. This gives us a skewed perspective on life and leads to deeply buried, repressed pains that we ultimately have to deal with if ever we want to reintegrate and become whole. So instead of battling yourself when something comes up, just sit down with yourself and be. Feel the feeling, even if it's uncomfortable. You'll soon find that by giving yourself the attention you haven't given yourself for so long, you'll not only find yourself feeling calmer but you'll discover the cause of why you feel the way you do. This is your Inner Child speaking to you, prompting you to take action in the area of your life that is causing you to feel rough. Just by simply being and listening, you can discover solutions to your problems that you didn't know existed before. You will also build up a much stronger bond with yourself, begin to trust yourself more and will show up in the world differently. In his book 'Game Over', John refers to this as Sacred Mother Work, because it's like being your own mother, nurturing yourself with compassion and acceptance.
Unconditionality - Start showing up in the world a little differently. You can start by doing things for others that involve no sense of expectation or reward for yourself. Give money to a homeless person, pay a stranger a compliment, help someone with their bags and most of all learn what it's like to let go out of the need for any closure. By being more outwardly orientated you dissolve fear because we are less concerned on what we're getting. If at any point you start feeling like you're feeding off the virtue gained from the experience, you can simply let go of it. And instead of it being an exercise you do to feel good, it becomes who you are.
Action and Artistry - Challenge yourself to do something you've always wanted to do. And make that something born out of service - whether that's writing a book, becoming a chef or speaking in front of an audience, when you start doing something you really love and find challenging you'll notice you start to view the world in a different way. When you're working from your creator self you're naturally going to be giving more to others and the world. You'll also feel so much happier and more fulfilled in your life.
Programs to get you started
We also run the Social Heartistry Online Academy, a 6-week course that fast tracks you into the world of Social Heartistry through video demonstrations in real-life settings, more information than you'll know what to do with and interactive homework exercises that'll have you stepping outside your comfort zone in no time. Sound scary? It is.
The online academy takes you through 6 different modules, each one helping you to navigate into the heart and heal yourself. It also teaches you how to bring yourself out into the social world unconditionally, strengthening relationships not just with the people you meet but with the most important person you'll ever have in your life -YOU. Another important part of this academy currently is showing how this way of living improves your dating life and connections with the opposite sex, romantic or otherwise.
We are at a crossroads. We must decide whether to carry on with our current way of thinking that has us mired in fear, lack and conflict with ourselves and others, or choose a new way – that of the Social Heartist. It is only by healing our hearts and coming at the world from a different perspective that we will ever hope to experience real happiness and fulfilment, so why not come and join us on this journey of awakening and self-empowerment?
The Social Heartistry Revolution has begun...
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