208: Blu – Turning Your Traumas Into Your Greatest Gift


“Whose story was I living?”

Hey, fellow earthlings! Welcome back to ONKEN RADIO (previously NION Radio), the podcast where we explore the body, mind, and soul of the creative entrepreneur. It’s my goal to help you take your creativity, business, and life to the next level. I’m so glad you’re joining me on this journey!

As a creative person, I believe it’s essential to integrate creativity into every part of your life — mind, body, spirit, business, and anything else you can think of! That kind of creative alchemy is what I live and work for, and I want to inspire you to do the same.

Today, I’ve got an extra special guest for you. She’s a personal creative hero of mine, and her art and mission to bring beauty to the world has massively inspired me in my own career as a photographer and creative entrepreneur. 

Her name is BLU, and she’s here today to teach you how to deeply listen and carve out your own unique path in this world. Here’s a little preview:

“The more people living from their heart, living from that gift, and the more people sharing their creative gifts unabashedly and like fully just going for it — it will heal the world.”

It’s so true. Whatever your creative gift is, it is essential that your creative projects, at their core, are true to you. When you’re being your true, authentic self, that’s when you can impact the world in a big way. 

And you guys, that’s just a little taste of the love bombs BLU dropped in this interview. We’re about to dive into a ton of knowledge taken from the transformative journey she has been on. Today, she’s going to help us discover that our greatest struggle can actually be our superpower. Let’s go! 

Who Is BLU?

BLU or BLU Cosmic Eagle is an artist and musician from England. She grew up in a boarding school for girls and served in the Royal Air Force before moving to the States to attend college in Florida. She found herself living a perfect textbook life, but she felt empty inside — like all of her creativity that she enjoyed as a young girl was stripped from her and replaced with a sterile cubicle. She knew her life had to change. 

Her neighbor invited her to try magic mushrooms or shrooms for the first time, and that led her on a path to becoming a curious mystic. She discovered that everything she grew up knowing may have been false, which included her internal narratives. When she learned that she would gradually lose her hearing due to an incurable hereditary disorder, she decided to follow her lifelong dream of becoming a musician. She bought a guitar and went traveling with it. 

Now an accomplished musician, BLU had to work through her own shifting identity alchemy to reach the point she’s at today where she sees her hearing loss as an invitation to listen deeper. She encourages others to turn their traumas into their greatest gifts in her recent TEDx Talk where she shares the amazing story of how she turned limitation into liberation. 

In this episode, BLU explains what it looks like to live to blow your own mind. We also discuss what it was like for BLU to lose her hearing, the difference between prayer and performance, and why she wants everything in her life to be beautiful.

Making Beauty a Calling

BLU’s name is an acronym for “Beauty, Love, and Unity.” She named herself when she discovered that her life’s work is to bring beauty and light everywhere she goes. By renaming herself she was rebirthing something new in her life.

“If I was to summarize everything in my life’s work, it is to restore beauty, love, and unity on the planet again.”

BLU does try to bring beauty into as many facets of life as possible, whether that’s how she decorates her house, how she treats her body, how she interacts with people, or how she creates her art. 

She explains that the artificial glamour pushed on us through society is a false beauty that completely distorts what true beauty is supposed to be. It makes it hard for people to think outside of the social constructs they have lived under to become beautiful on the inside as well. 

“If you place your sense of what is attractive or beautiful in that [artificial glamor] and it doesn’t come from a deep cultivation of the desire to share from your heart and create original things, to listen deeply, to love intently, or to reflect the beauty that you see, then your beauty will only go skin-deep.”

BLU completely lights up from the inside when she can create what she calls “win-win-win” situations everywhere she goes. An example would be helping out a poor woman in Peru who is selling bracelets at a market and paying her more than she is asking, then buying a bunch of bracelets for her friends. By doing this, she is also deepening relationships with her friends. This is a “win-win-win.”

When it comes to being creative, bringing beauty all the time can also be exhausting. BLU explains how there is a shadow side to every light, and the shadow is entropy. It’s important to understand how you recharge your batteries so you are giving your light to the world but also guarding your energy and peace at the same time. Otherwise, you will become depleted and not able to give. 

I can be this electric fireball of energy, but I’ve got to charge too, and that’s my entropy state. So I just give it some context, understand what’s happening, plug myself in, lay on my back, and surrender to that state. Then it becomes the gestation period for the next creative wave to hit.”

According to BLU, once we become masters of our own energy and learn how to direct it and understand it, that’s when we start playing life instead of letting life playing us. She believes one of the biggest “pandemics” we have on this planet is our disconnection from ourselves. 

That’s why the “U” in BLU stands for unity and is a part of her life’s work. She wants to bring unity to the world by helping people become aware of the division that is inside themselves. With so many distractions that modern society can offer us, we have lost the ability to stay quiet and practice listening to ourselves. 

The Lost Art of Listening

Ironically, BLU really began to start listening to herself when she received a grave diagnosis that she was losing her hearing for good. When she was 25, she and her brother both discovered they had a hereditary gene mutation that contributed to hearing loss. The doctors said it was irreversible and that there was nothing they could do. 

BLU was struck by this news and had to reframe the way she saw life as a musician who desperately needed hearing to practice her craft. 

But in her journey of trying to preserve her actual hearing, she dove into a deeper journey of internal listening and realized there were so many layers to this game of listening. She discovered that the deafness of the spirit was much more tragic — and something that was not incurable. 

“If you can carve out some time to be alone, to be in nature, to just be with your own thoughts, to face yourself deeply, and allow yourself to be uncomfortable, you’ll be able to recognize, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve got this program that’s running in my consciousness. It says that I’m unworthy. And I create so much shame and guilt on myself that I sit in silence. That’s all I can hear, and it’s so uncomfortable. All I want to do is shove some food in my mouth. So I have to think about this, but ultimately the more that we distract ourselves from the truth of our own stillness, the more tightly wound we get into addictions.”

One of those addictions is our technology, specifically our phones. BLU admits to struggling with it too. She used to have her phone wake her up, and then she would start checking it immediately and would go into this frenetic spiral of getting back to people and thinking about emails. She calls this a “contraction” experience, and it causes us to rush over the things of the moment and depletes our spirit. 

So now, instead of going straight to her phone in the morning, she starts her day by listening. For her, that looks like meditation, clean eating, yoga, and taking an hour in the morning to frame her mind and her day. Once it’s time to start working, she is in a much more refreshed state of mind that allows her to be more powerful and purposeful in her day. 

The beautiful thing about taking time to listen to your spirit and be still is that it creates a ripple effect around you and people start to notice. This practice separates the followers and the leaders. 

“It’s powerful when you choose it for yourself, but it’s also extremely powerful for the ripples that it sends out when anybody’s witnessing you living your life. People are going to start being inspired. When you choose enrichment, that actually sets you up as a vibrational leader in the world.”

Ultimately, this art of listening is about you becoming your true, authentic self and ignoring the narratives around you about what society says you need to be. When we are authentic, that’s when the true work starts. That’s when we can start impacting the world. 

Turning Your Greatest Challenge Into Your Superpower

When BLU received that bad diagnosis at age 25, she had a choice to make: Would this disorder overtake her and become a part of her identity? Or would she look at this challenge as an invitation to listen deeper?

Instead of letting this diagnosis stop her, she flipped the script and turned it into her superpower. She began to deeply listen to herself and build a new narrative based on her authentic self. 

“I used to say, ‘Oh, I’ve always wanted to play music, but I’m not a musician. … I can’t really sing.’ These are [false] stories. So I decided to buy a guitar, and I went traveling with it and made a vow to myself that if anybody asks me if I’m a musician, my answer will be, ‘Yes.’ Even if nothing in my body believes it and all I can play is ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ on the guitar with like two chords, I will say, ‘Yes.’”

Now BLU travels around the world and plays music for concerts, ceremonies, and other events. She also paints and engages in all of her creative gifts. She ultimately created a deafness to drown out the noise of the world and to start listening to her intuition and her own internal truth. Now that’s the piece that has made her powerful today because she turned her greatest challenge into her greatest superpower. 

“I’ve built a life of beauty, and now it’s gotten to the point where my cup is so full, I can’t help but share that with others.”

That’s such a powerful message. Once you are living authentically and using your own superpower for good, you have an amazing part to play in impacting humanity.

BLU dropped so many love bombs on us today and I’m so grateful you were able to join us for the conversation. Make sure to check out the whole conversation here. If you’d like to learn more about BLU, you can find her website here. I hope you enjoyed this episode — if you did, please screenshot it and post it to Instagram and tag me, @nickonken and BLU @bluofearth. And if you’ve got time, leave me a review on Apple podcasts. I’d love to hear your feedback. 

I’ll catch you guys next time — now go live the creative lives you were meant for!

Nick Onken

You can Subscribe and Listen to the Podcast on Apple Podcasts. And please leave me a Rating and Review!


“People will spend their whole lives at Expectation Station.”

Some things we learn in this podcast:

  • What is boarding school like [5:00]
  • What is Expectation Station [17:00]
  • How to create a beautiful life [25:00]
  • What is entropy [25:45]
  • How to recharge [26:30]
  • What is the difference between followers and leaders [33:45]
  • What is the value of nudity in art [42:00]
  • How to deal with losing your hearing [44:00]
  • Why is a morning routine important [55:00]
  • How to deconstruct your identity [58:10]
  • What is the original definition of weird [1:02:25]

Links Mentioned:

Connect with Blu Cosmic Eagle on Instagram | YouTube | Deja Blu Podcast | Blu Cosmic Eagle

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