May 15, 2020

066 Jackie Knechtel: Flow Consciousness: How to Thrive in Challenging Times?

Everyone wants to tap into flow, but what consciousness states enable you to tap into flow more easily? How do you do it when you are in the middle of a hurricane? Today’s guest is Jackie Knechtel. She is the co-founder of the Flow Consciousness...

Everyone wants to tap into flow, but what consciousness states enable you to tap into flow more easily? How do you do it when you are in the middle of a hurricane?

Today's guest is Jackie Knechtel. She is the co-founder of the Flow Consciousness Institute, a research and training body dedicated to developing cutting-edge, consciousness-based tools for unlocking human potential.

Her work has been featured on Forbes and Fast Company. She sits on the board of Directors for Evolutionary Leaders Council alongside esteemed conscious thought leaders.


  • The difference between flow and flow consciousness
  • Her spiritual awakening moments when she chose herself first
  • How to grapple between the inner tension between hustle vs. self-care
  • How to integrate the heart and the mind to make the best decisions
  • The power of the placebo and nocebo effects
  • How do you face challenges during flow consciousness
  • In the moment of challenge, what to do to shift into infinite possibilities?
  • How to shift one's belief?
  • The importance of psychedelics and integration
  • How to make high-level connections


Jackie Knechtel is the co-founder of the Flow Consciousness Institute, a research and training body dedicated to developing cutting-edge, consciousness-based tools for unlocking human potential. She is a sought after speaker and teacher, known for her pioneering work in the area of flow and the mechanics of consciousness. Jackie currently travels the world giving keynotes, training, and transformational workshops, she has presented at events and organizations in 17 countries over the last four years. Her work has been featured on Forbes and Fast Company and she serves as an advisor to several non-profits and sits on the board of Directors for SOSF/Evolutionary Leaders Council alongside esteemed conscious thought leaders.


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[flow and flow consciousness] I'm just gonna create a distinction around flow States and flow consciousness because when I teach flow consciousness, and most people are more familiar with flow States.

Flow state are those temporary states of a peak performance of non-ordinary States of consciousness, where there's an expanded sense of creativity; the sense that time seems to stop,. And so there is absolutely overlap between flow States and what we call flow consciousness.

But flow consciousness is really a, it's a stage of psychospiritual development. You're actually able to live in flow as opposed to having just a temporary experience of it. And so when you're really tapped in and embodying flow consciousness, you have this sense of life is conspiring in your favor. It feels like all of the resources you need to thrive come to you in perfect synchronicity. You have exponential growth.

And success in your life and your business. So you take these quantum leaps and you develop a really radical trust and surrender to life.  You let go of control and trying to manipulate your reality and really trusting that there's a greater wisdom at play. That's really guiding everything. So really radically surrendering to life, tuning in and operating from intuition as opposed to logic. Your intuition can process billions of bits of data per second as opposed to your rational mind, which is inherently limited. And so an aspect of it is doing okay. Deep inner work really reprograms the mind to eliminate the limiting beliefs, the emotional patterns, the traumas, these imprints in the subconscious that are unknowingly blocking us from having everything that we want.

[flow consciousness] It's living the Tao. It's really being in the 'wu-wai' - the art of effortless action, the non-doing doing so really being in that place. In alignment with yourself, with your purpose, what you're here to do. Really tapping in to the essence of who you are, the true nature of who you are, which is limitless. And so digging through an excavating all of the layers of, of the ego that have built up over the years and have been imprinted with the solution so that you can get to the place of pure potentiality. And so it's about living from that place.

[Post COVID Silence vs. Hustle] Tune into what you need. You as an individual in your individual circumstances and noticing where there's layers of I think I have to do this. This is what everyone else is doing, so if I don't do that, I'm going to fall behind looking where those beliefs are that might be creating our action as opposed to our true desire and our excitement and our inspiration.

And so using that data to then look. What's underneath the surface, like what's actually creating that? is it fear that's inspiring you, you know, to take action or you know, also in other ways is really looking, nature's always looking to come back into balance.

So if you're someone who's been pushing hard and really hustling all the time, and now we're in this pandemic and now all of a sudden. A lot of people have more space and more time in their lives. And there's this, you know, there's some memes going around these motivation, motivational memes that are actually shaming people for not taking action. It's like, Oh, well now you have the time. So if you're not actually doing things, it's because of a lack of discipline.

And in reality, we're in a collective trauma response. So everyone is going to be reacting or responding in a way that's. You know, aligned with, how much work they've done to heal those, those triggers. And so maybe what a person needs to do, which seems counterintuitive, is to just rest and do nothing and watch Netflix. But for someone else, maybe they've been in inaction for too long. And so the very thing that they need to do is go into more action. but I think if, if I could make a generality in this time, the most important thing is to do the inner work. And to notice whatever's coming up for you.

And so if you're having a lot of negative emotions to find tools and find mentors or guides or coaches or healers or therapists or whatever, books, courses, things to support you in that, to work through that, because this is really going to be the thing that's most supportive and noticing what is underlying that's driving your. Either ability to respond, like you said, that response ability or response agility, or if you're coming from reactivity and all of this unconscious programming that you're not aware of.

[Enahnce Intuition Signature] What is one practice that they can do to enhance the resolution, the fidelity of their bodily sensations or, felt sensation.

I think just getting to know your own intuitional signature, because I think intuition speaks to people in different ways. So knowing how it shows up for you is really critical and knowing that intuition is a felt sensation, so it's not going to speak to you in terms of emotions.

If you're experiencing an emotion in your body, it's because you've interpreted the felt sensation through the lens of your beliefs and your perceptions. So just getting clear. going into a state of mindfulness and presence and doing a body scan and seeing what are the sensations, the subtle energies that are present in my body and around my body and this time, does something feel expansive and light and energizing? Does it feel dark and heavy and contracting? And really just getting to know. What those sensations are.

And so you can use it as a simple binary decision making tool. The thing that feels expansive, light, energizing, freeing. That's intuition telling you, yes, you should make that choice. And if something feels heavy and contracting, restrictive, dark, that's your intuition telling you.

That's not the choice that's going to lead you into the path of most flow. So really checking in and using your intuition to make all of your decisions and building that muscle, because it's just like anything else. You don't brush your teeth once and be like, okay, I'm done. You know, it's, it's a muscle that you have to flex and, and grow over time. So checking in with all of your decisions from. You know what you're going to eat for breakfast too, what you're going to wear, everything.

Because it's all of these micro decisions that we make throughout the day that position us in space and time, you know, on this different probability tree. And so we might think that the small things that we choose to do throughout the day are insignificant, but they're actually really important. And when you're tuning into your intuition, that's always going to guide you on the path for your most flow. So yeah, just really tuning into the subtle sensations, getting clear on the energetics of what that feels like in your body, and allowing that to be your guidance system for everything you do throughout the day.

[Edge of Flow] As you start to lean into intuition as your primary guidance system, and it's going to bring you quickly to the edges of your comfort zone.

You're going to see where you're habitually making choices that are based on fears or what's keeping you safe and keeping you small. So as you put this into practice, it's definitely going to bring you to those edges. And that's where the work really is.

So yes, it might become clear, your guidance might say, yes, here's, here's the path, but it may not make sense because intuition is nonlinear. So it's able to read information from the quantum field and might tell you to do something that seems so irrational. so being able to trust that and make that decision anyway is definitely a practice. but also. It's going to show you all of the places where you're still operating from limitation, lack, scarcity, fear, all of these conditioned responses and take you to the edge of your comfort zone.

But as you share it, it's these experiences like plant medicines or, you know, doing these different sports and things that, may not be. The easiest thing, they might push us to our limits, but that's where the most massive growth often is. So the willingness to lean into the discomfort, to sit with

you know, it's like doing pigeon pose in yoga. It's so painful. They, at least for me, my hips are so tight and I hate it. I hate it for like every minute that it goes on, especially in a yin class where it seems like an eternity that you're holding one pose, but then there's that moment of release. And everything relaxes.

The more you breathe into it, the more you're willing to just go into acceptance and, and be fully in. The discomfort that ironically is, is when it surrenders and releases and gives you so much more access. To freedom and enjoy and ease on the other side of that. But yeah, there there's, there's that period of tension where you're going into the discomfort and really stretching yourself.

[On Thriving during COVID] one may say , Jackie, that sounds awesome in theory, I'm in the middle of a shit show right now. Don't talk to me about flow consciousness. What would you say to that?

So really we talked about this as first principles and being able to apply these universally to any challenge in your life. Because beyond this pandemic, there's going to be other things we're always going to be, you know, and there's some people who aren't really affected by this. At all, but they're being challenged by something else in life that has nothing to do. It's not necessarily a pandemic related.

We're always going to have challenges and things that are showing up in our lives to help us to grow and evolve. So it's really having the tools, the mindsets, the frameworks to support you in doing the inner work.

Like I said, 60% of flow consciousness is reprogramming the mind and working at the mental, emotional, energetic, and physical levels to actually uproot and reprogram in beliefs. emotional patterns, working through the traumas to optimize your flow. And then really, taking on radical acceptance is one of our principles really, not resisting what's showing up.

And then from that place, being able to surrender to it and work through what's happening, honoring your intuition and allowing that to guide you to make the best possible decisions.  At this time. You know, there's a, we have seven flow principles, so each one is going in application will help people to navigate these unchartered waters.

if your bank account is dwindling rapidly, you know, it's going into, what does that bring up for you? You know? So asking a series of mindful questions, what must I believe in order to be having this emotional response to the situation? Because, okay, your bank account is dwindling, but.

To one person that might be like, okay, well time for me to get into action and to start creating. And another person might be like, Oh fuck. now I'm going to be living on the streets and end up homeless and not be able to feed my kids. so the situation is. The same, but it's how we're interpreting it.

We live in a subjective reality. So the best thing to do is start to ask yourself these mindful questions about, you know, what, what's coming up for you in that experience, right?

So, if your bank account is dwindling. What's beneath that? What fears are coming up? What thoughts are you having? What are these anticipated outcomes that are creating stress, and working through those so that you can shift into opportunity.

Because if you're, creating all of these negative, imagined scenarios, right? Coming back to the present moment. Like noticing what's happening in this moment. I still have a roof over my head. I still have food in the fridge like I'm okay, but I'm projecting this imagined reality that, okay, just because I'm losing money in this moment, now I've made up this whole narrative that I'm going to end up poor and I'm a loser and I'm unworthy, and whatever those stories are.

And doing the work around that and then shifting into infinite possibilities, reality, and starting to see like, what are the outcomes that you'd want to create and what must you believe in order to create these different outcomes? Because constraints are often essential for innovation. So there's a perception that I'm being squeezed right now, and that could really forced me to come into alignment, figure out am I actually doing work that is fulfilling?

There's a lot of people that I'm talking to and supporting right now that are like, Oh, you know, like I'm realizing I don't actually want to be doing this job anyway. So what are here to do and starting to align more with that and getting creative or stepping just into possibility of what can I do to create more income or get more clients or create more content or whatever it is. Again, it's going to be unique and individual to the person, but really. Always coming back to what is coming up for you, what's being triggered, how can you work through that so that you can shift into possibility.

[On Embracing Triggers] I think the most important thing is as soon as I'm noticing that I'm triggered, that something's alive in me is going into it. Pausing, working with the breath. Feeling into what's coming up, what's alive for me. And then, you know, I've, I've so many different practices that, that I can work through whatever it is.

Cause I know that what's being triggered on the surface is not usually what's actually there. It's all of the unprocessed, repressed, suppressed emotions and trauma imprints that, you know, I didn't have the tools to work with before. So whatever is happening outside of me or, you know, seemingly outside of me, I, you know, I know is often a reflection of my internal state.

And so I can go into that and start to work with that, find out what those beliefs and emotional patterns are, and actually work with them in real time. So, you know, it's, it's hard to say again, like what, what everyone can do, but the more we can build in that pause and. And go within when something is coming up for us.

And, you know, like I said, as an opportunity to be curious when we're triggered, rather than like, Oh shit, I don't want to be feeling this. I don't want this to be happening. Something's wrong. It's like, Oh, here's an opportunity to excavate something that wants to be released. That's going to bring me into more joy, more bliss, more freedom, more love, more expansion.

So, you know, when I was hospitalized five years ago, I ended up with an abdominal infection that doctors were baffled by. And at the time it was extraordinarily painful. It was scary. I, you know, it was going through cat scans and ultrasounds and didn't know what was wrong with my body. so I was, I was scared and I was alone.

I was in a new city. It where I didn't really know anyone. but it's actually how I connected with my now business partner and co founder. And so in that moment I was, you know, feeling all of the feelings and everything that was alive for me. And at the same time that I was, I was visiting Justin and.

He ended up coming to visit me in the hospital every day, and in that time that we had together, we felt this profound resonance and we're like, we need to do this work together. but I, I was nomadic at the time, so I may have just had dinner with him and kept driving and moved on to the next city every day I was in a new place.

But because I ended up in the hospital, we had five days to really drop in and feel that connection. And as a result, we've now built everything that we've built in are doing this work in the world. So sometimes we don't know why things are happening. You know, on the surface that may look like everything's falling apart.

[On Psychedelics and Flow Consciousness] What do you think, psychedelics as a way to expand one's consciousness or more specifically flow consciousness.

Yeah, I think they can be very powerful teachers. again, they're, they're getting you out of the limits of the egoic mind and allowing you to, to transcend that and to be able to tap into higher planes of reality and higher dimensions of consciousness. so I, I definitely think they can be incredible teachers and for the healing aspect.

you know, being able to access traumas and, and work through, through things that maybe the, the ego was so strong and holding onto that you wouldn't be able to necessarily access. but that said, I do think intentionality is everything and set and setting and working with skilled facilitators and not just doing something because everyone else is doing it.

Like really honoring a connection to a particular plant teacher. And you know, not just because like all of Silicon Valley is doing it to now you have to do it too. And really, You know, like I said before, the integration piece is so important. so I, I think they're profound teachers with some caveats and, and I don't believe they're for everyone.

I think, you know, many, many people can benefit from them, and I don't think it's for everyone. So, there's so many paths to the same place. And so many of those same transcendent experiences can be attained and achieved through meditation or breath work or, other practices. So, yeah, I think they're, they're very potent, very powerful and me to be used in a way that's with a lot of reverence and intentionality.

[On Shifting Our Beliefs] affirmations are limited. I think often writing affirmations is like signaling to your subconscious that you don't actually believe them when you have to keep reinforcing and repeating them.

But also if you have conflicting beliefs in your subconscious that you're not aware of, then it creates a tug of war. So, you know, I could tell myself all day, every day I'm abundant, but I'm looking at my bank account and there's no money in it. Like I'm gonna feel like. Lying to myself. So, affirmations, you know, are, are valuable to an extent in that you can , on the most simplistic level, start to choose the opposite, more empowering belief.

Like when you're doing this mindful questioning process and you get to what you think the root is of whatever this fear or whatever this belief is, you get to choose the most empowering and life enhancing opposite. And you can start to act as if you believe that. And you know, as we said before, both realities exist.

It's what you're using. You know, your brain has this incredible reticular activating system that's filtering all of the data that's coming at you and sorting it according to your confirmation bias and according to your beliefs and perceptions. So you can start to use that to your benefit. And you can find.

Evidence that supports the new belief that you're taking on and start to rewire the neural pathways in that sentence. But then in our, in our work, in our programs, we actually work with different neuro-biological tools, different energetic tools, different somatic practices to actually rewire them in your neurology.

so on the most simplistic level, it's really finding models of possibility. Of of people in your world or you know, just that you see on TV that are living the life that you want, that are the embodiment of the belief that you want to take on acting as if you already believe that about yourself, and then starting to gather evidence that supports that because you're going to then reinforce it and rewire that neural pathway.

So let me recap. Fight a bleed that's empowering to you in an actively look for evidence that supports that belief. Is that accurate? So that's step one, right? Step two is find someone else who already embodies who you like to be and then so often we can't see these things for ourselves because we're stuck in our own limitations and arguing for our limitations.

So if I say there's no good men in Los Angeles ? And if I believe that I'm going to find all of the men that are. You know, cheating and lying and doing whatever, because I'm going to confirm that belief for myself, but if I find models of possibility , my friend's husband's a really good guy and he's loving and supportive, and it's like, Oh, okay, well that's now.

Contradicting the belief and giving me evidence of, of something that I want to be true, but I don't necessarily believe I can have for myself. So I start finding models of possibility in other people and whatever's in your field is going to be possible for you as well, but it might be harder for you to see it for yourself.

[On Finding Our Superpowers] you were talking about relationship building and building community. And for me, I think, this is part of my super power, but it was definitely born out of.

a wound. So when I was small, I remember, you know, going to the mall and, you know, taking the bus and I would meet someone and I absolutely had to stay in touch with everyone I ever met. And, I had this deep need to belong and to fit in and to be accepted and loved. And, you know, and I know that.

Because they're pretty generic. We all have those, those needs. But there was a piece of me that felt like if I lost touch with someone, it was because I wasn't lovable. It was because I wasn't worthy or perfect or whatever. And so I kept in touch with everyone that I ever met. Everyone had to be like my best friend, and.

Through that. I learned how to stay in connection with people and to really show up for people and put in the time, the energy, the effort into maintaining and building relationships. And now, you know, I've done so much work to heal those wounds, so I'm able to do it from a healthier place, but it was absolutely born out of that room.

And so really looking within and seeing like how our super powers are so directly connected to our deepest core wounds, allows you to have so much more acceptance and appreciation for them. I want to underline something that you said I thought was beautiful. The come from place. Of how you develop these super powers of relationship building originated from a place of not having enough. but now you're more mature. You can still use the same skill that you home, but come from a place of. Fullness and abundance an overflow. Is that an accurate way to reflect back where you said absolutely. So I think when you do the work to integrate the shadow, you get all of the benefits of that, whatever that thing is that you didn't want to be the broken, fractured aspects of our psyche.

And I think, you know, something that, I value, and I pride myself on being a good person and kind and loving. So I would never want to be seen as a bitch, you know? So the, the shadow aspect for, for me to play with for a long time was the bitch. And where's the power in the bitch?

There's so much power in them too.

[On Spiritual Bypassing] spiritual bypassing is often just. More in the, I think I like the new age community is where everything is love and light, and you only want to look at the positive things and you know, ignore the shadow, ignore anything else, because we know that everything is all love and wind.

so it's, you know, while that is true on some level, it's also not actually. Connecting to the human that we are, you know, so like, it's, it's in a higher dimension of conscious awareness, but it's bypassing the very human real aspects of ourselves that are full of shadow, full of trauma imprints and acting from an unconscious place.

So if you're only in that and you're only finding, You know, the, the love and light and things, it's often not willing to look at what's actually happening on the ground in the world. And so it can come off as really. Tone, deaf and inconsiderate. Cause you know, like in a pandemic, we are in a very real crisis situation.

And yes, people are dying, people are struggling, people are facing incredible economic challenges. So to say like, Oh, everything's perfect. You know, it's, there's a disconnect there. So I think it's important, you know, while there is truth in that perception, you know, it's, it's kind of a higher dimensional awareness.

but it needs to be connected to the grounded humanity that we also are, because as multidimensional beings, we are, you know, human beings. you know, we're spiritual beings having a human experience. So, both of those perspectives are happening simultaneously, but a lot of people are just glossing over things and not willing to actually go into the darkness.

[On the Mechanics of Adding Value] it's so second nature to me. because like I said, born out of this wound. I've spent my life deeply listening to people and seeing how I could serve them.

but for other people who maybe it isn't second nature, I think it's something that you can absolutely train yourself to start listening for and then taking action on.

First and foremost, and then seeing if there's a way that you can support them.

And you don't have to , you're not going to be able to help everyone. But I think the willingness to be wrong. just expanding your listening to find out what are these associations you can make, what are the patterns, the dots that you can connect, and then seeing how you can offer value.

I'll automatically go into who else do I know, make some associations in my brain with like people that are in a resonant industry. And then I'll try to remember like who else might have something that could hold a key for them and support them in making their mission a reality, or we're expanding their company or bring them more business or whatever.

and also if you're making introductions to actually say why you're connecting people, you know, what do they have in common?

what do you see in coming out of this connection? Why should they want to know each other? And I'll get down to even the more nuanced, like I said, the energetics of it. Like, Oh, and you know, you both love puppies and they're playful and, you know, so beyond the reason for them connecting.

I'll lay it out why I think people should connect and, and say that I think they both hold keys for each other's business or something. But so many people will make introductions for me. And I don't even know why I'm connecting to this person cause they haven't said anything and I can't go and look the person up or, you know, it's just a first name and there's no information.

The more you're focused on making life easier for the people that you're connecting, especially by email, by hyperlinking their website or their project or something. So they have something to reference and look back to, will really increase your value as a, as a connector.

sometimes, like I've connected people solely on intuition and there's like, I don't even know why I'm connecting them myself, but I sensed that they need to know each other for some reason.

And it's been some of the most powerful connections that I've made.

but again I always get permission first. So not just connecting random people. And I'll put a caveat, a disclaimer in the email saying, look, I don't even know why I feel like you should connect.

so I'm curious as you explore that, what will come out of this, but just so you know, this is just an intuitive hit and I have no basis for saying this. so that way it kind of lets me off the hook a bit

but it also discernment comes in, you know, how do you really value your reputation as a connector as you start to do this more? And again, it always comes back to the integration of the heart and the mind, the rational and the intuitive and really, bridging those.

You don't want to just make introductions for people that you don't feel like both parties would benefit. Right? There's so many people that are like, Oh, can you introduce me to somebody? And I'm like, no, you know, because I don't feel like they'd get any value from it. Like it has to be a mutual thing for me to want to do it.

Double opt in intros I think are super important. And really just valuing people's time and asking first if this person wants to be connected. because maybe they don't, maybe they don't have time, maybe they don't have interest. so really getting. Permission on both sides for the connection to happen to make sure they actually want to connect and get to know each other and then following up.

I think the thing that I see most people drop the ball. They'll go to an amazing and event event and get a bunch of contacts and business cards and stuff, and then just not reach out again.

So I've now got this unbelievable network and all of these crazy, amazing communities as a result of, of this skill and seeing how I can add value and offer someone something before it ever asked for anything.

[On Knowing Thyself] know thyself. And so whatever that looks like, really taking the time to know who you are and who you are, like at your core, who you are beneath all of the externalized identity. So the, the ways we get our value in the world from our careers.

Or possessions, things like that. Really taking the time to ask the question, who am I beneath? All of that is probably the most powerful thing that we can do.

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