“When we are alienated from our gut feelings, we have no longer a sense of reality or a sense of truth. The good news is: human beings can regain connection to themselves (…). All we have to do – not an easy task, but is certainly available to us – is to get back to our true nature.”

Dr. Gabor Maté - Canadian PhysicianSpeech at the 2012 National Bioneers Conference

A Reset to Stillness

Alienation from our authentic self means losing sight of what truly matters to us, because we are distracted by the siren song of false drivers. The noisy, hyperactive superficiality of consumerism provides plentiful substitutes of the lost meaning: we chase job titles, awards, possessions, embellishments of material success, and social recognition. As the above-quoted Dr. Maté said in the same presentation: “Much of the economy is based on a loss of meaning in our culture.”

The loss of trust in intuition is the direct result of our alienation. After the Second World War, artists of the ZERO movement abandoned the very concept of art to find a pure expression of truth. Similarly, to find your true self, you need to let go of the substitutes that fill your inner void: the embellishments of visibility, the internalized command to fulfil societal expectations, and the general misuse of the concept of “career” as a source of identity. A complete reset to stillness and emptiness is essential to perceive who we are in the first place.

In Vino Veritas

Tanja Schug, the founder of Zero Senses and a former brand consultant, is deeply passionate about wine. In the past, she contemplated different ways of pursuing her hobby, from becoming a winemaker to running a vineyard in California. Yet, none of the options felt right, as if wine were only a transmitter of a deeper meaning. When we taste a sip of wine, we naturally struggle to distinguish the components, the mental images behind the rich cacophony of flavour and smell. As Gordon M. Shepherd wrote in his book, Neuroenology: How the Brain Creates the Taste of Wine:

“(…) Although one consciously perceives a smell, a smell that has properties of an image, that image is not conscious. (…) We are very good at recognizing complex patterns, such as someone’s face, but lack the vocabulary to describe them. This is exactly the challenge in describing the qualities of a wine aroma.”

Wine tasting is a conscious effort to identify layers of sensation, like traces of pineapple or blueberry. Through conscious discernment, you create a bridge between past experience and the sensory perception of the moment. Hence, wine becomes a vehicle to instil your existing knowledge into a new context. Once Tanja came to this realization, she decided to apply the same pattern in her life, extending the notion to new domains.

“Awareness of my feelings and the ability to connect them with my experience provide me with an unshakeable trust in myself”, she affirms. Self-confidence and independence from outside influences (i.e., statistics, analysis, and confirmation) stem from the cornerstone of self-trust. Tanja became a change catalyst and companion of natural leaders in realizing their personal strengths and reactivating their intuition through conscious intelligence. The latter emerges from the balanced connection of rationality and emotions through the sharpening of sensory awareness.

Agreeing to the Journey

Returning to ourselves is a tedious journey. The undertaking might seem daunting because of its apparent loneliness and defiance of societal expectations. As the most fundamentally intimate and important things in life, we are essentially alone with the responsibility and effort bestowed upon us by our commitment.

In Tanja’s view, the first step is agreeing to the departure: “The decision to sign up for the journey is harder than it appears. We are instinctively afraid of change. However, it is better to decide consciously that we are indeed at a point where we need change. Otherwise, life will force us into change.”

Leaving the concern of everyday business and throwing out the unnecessary garments of superficial trivialities takes courageous determination. Deliberately locking out the noise and at least temporarily leaving our ordinary context is essential to start seeing beyond the surface of everyday life. Yet we do not have to be lonely on this journey.

It is no coincidence that even mythological figures were led by trusted guides through their journeys. At the beginning of his Divine Comedy, the medieval Italian poet Dante Alighieri finds himself in a dark forest, completely lost and overtaken by fear. Yet, he soon found a guide: Virgil, the Latin poet, leads him through the steps of a mystical journey from hell to paradise. As he told Dante: “I therefore think and judge it best for thee / to follow me; and I shall be thy guide.”

Most of us are too busy running on our treadmills to realize the true magnitude of our self-alienation, let alone to consciously look for sources of inspiration or an adept guide to lead us back to ourselves. As our ancestors showed us, we never walked alone on new or difficult paths.

A Mirroring Companion

Reaching a state of clarity is a prerequisite of change. Zero Senses is a detached and neutral mirror, purely reflecting your deepest values, drivers, and aspirations, without adding or taking away anything. Without guidance, you might follow the path you already know. Without safety, fear of judgment might deter you. Zero Senses not only creates a safe atmosphere of acceptance to awaken your awareness, but also curates impulses to widen your perception. We accompany you on a journey of transformation.

Tasting wine taught Tanja that understanding emerges both from knowledge and experience. The sharpening of sensory awareness and the reactivation of intuition lead to more clarity, which in turn becomes the foundation of personal independence and inner stability.

However, there is no uniform way to cultivate awareness. Zero Senses curates the impulses through choosing sensory stimuli that match the personal characteristics of natural leaders. During a profiling phase, we identify the key topics of interest and relevance, ranging from visuality (e.g., art and nature) to human impulses (e.g., meaningful discussions with inspiring people).

Ultimately, we distill your essence: as your strengths manifest themselves, you can start translating and using them intuitively within every moment, discussion and situation. As your conscious intelligence improves, you can slowly unravel and change the underlying patterns of your life.