Nic has over ten years of experience working and volunteering for the National Health Service (NHS) in mental health inpatient care and a therapeutic community, a NHS counselling and psychology service. He has worked in a mental health centre with people experiencing various mental health conditions and illness, including: depression and low mood, anxiety and stress symptoms, panic attacks, and social anxiety. His NHS roles have included ‘Visiting Therapist’, ‘Healthcare Support Worker’ ‘Staff Governor’ ‘Improvement Facilitator’ and ‘Therapeutic Liaison Worker’, a role he founded. In one voluntary role, he co-facilitated a social problem-solving group based on a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy model for people with personality disorder. He has also volunteered at other free counselling services over the years. Nic has been a tutor at a recovery college teaching mindfulness and meditation for beginners, aimed at people with emotional and mental problems, and fellow healthcare professionals. He has also led several national mental health service improvement schemes, run by a UK-based charity whose work aims to enhance the lives and autonomy of marginalized social groups. As part of this work, Nic wrote a best practice resource for professionals working within Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHs) units. This resource, which was endorced by the Anna Freud Centre, is now a national service improvement project.
For many years, Nic has been involved in communicating the message of non-duality through. This activities include: organizing seminars, producing popular podcasts and free audio downloads, blogging, and managing social networking platforms. He is part of the multimedia staff at Scott Kiloby’s addiction centre in Palm Springs, California. Nic has also worked at ‘Science and Nonduality Conference’ (SAND) on their media projects.
As well as the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads, the book that has had the most profound impact on Nic’s life is ‘I Am That’ by Nisargadatta Maharaj, the great Advaita (non-duality) teacher. Sri Nisargadatta’s ‘Nisarga Yoga’ (natural unity), a simple yet powerful meditational self-inquiry process, has a substantial influence on the way he works as a counsellor. Visit nisargayoga.com, a website Nic founded, for more information on this “easy, simple, natural” non-dual yoga without physical poses or Asanas.
Nic has recorded many conversations and satsang with non-dual teachers and authors of some of the best enlightenment books. These include: Rupert Spira, Nirmala, Tim Freke and Jeff Foster, whose website is ‘Life Without a Centre’. The topics of these free podcasts ranged from the questions ‘what is non-duality?’, ‘what is consciousness?’, ‘define non-duality’, to discussions on ‘spiritual awakening and enlightenment’, ‘self inquiry’, and ‘deep acceptance’. He is very grateful for the following spiritual teachers and authors who played a part in his own awakening journey: Adi Shankara, Robert Adams, Ramana Maharshi, Randall Friend, Osho, Adyashanti, Wei Wu Wei, and Maurice Frydman. Many free ebooks and audiobooks by these teachers can be found on the internet.
Nic’s writing was featured in ‘Wisdom Without Dogma: Voices From the Edge of the Spiritual Revolution’. He has various articles published in ‘Mental Health Practice’, a Royal College of Nursing journal, and ‘British Journal of Healthcare Assistants’.
As well a being a qualified Counsellor, Nic is a certified Life Coach, and a Practitioner of Neuro-linguistic Programming and Eriksonian Hypnosis. He’s also studied Group Analysis, and other therapeutic modalities. Nic’s work adheres to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy code of ethics.
– Level 4 Higher National Diploma in the Theory and Practice of Counselling
– Level 3 Certificate In Counselling Skills
– Foundation Course in Group work (Group Analysis / Group Analytic Psychotherapy)
– Results Life Coach
– Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
– Neurological Re-patterning
– Ericksonian Hypnosis
– Individual Member of British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
– Member of British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Spirtuality
– Member of British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Private Practice
“In a million different ways, we spend our lives seeking Oneness. Yet as the saints and sages throughout the ages have been trying to tell us, we are already Oneness, seeking itself. The entire spiritual search is based on a simple misconception, which this book exposes beautifully.
When you were very young, you were a ball of pure creativity, an explosion of raw and ancient energies, energies you had no way of naming, let alone understanding. You were whole, spiritually complete, and undivided from life. Your conceptual mind had not yet shattered the world into a million different parts.
Unnamed joys and sorrows surged through you without warning, prehistoric longings, urges, undigested terrors – the snake, the velociraptor, the unnameable movement in the deep. You felt the joyous overwhelm of being alive, tasting your own taste, being in your own being, moving as a body. You were a riot of light and sound, an amorphous mass of pure sensation, often startled and overjoyed in equal measure, out of time and out of control, out of the safety of the womb, outside of mother, and your very life was at stake, or so it seemed. Yet you were perfectly whole.
You are essentially no different now. You are still wild and free. Yet over the years you were taught how to fragment yourself, how to fit in; how to be a good boy or girl, kind, polite, careful, consistent, nice, right, even ‘spiritual’. You were taught the right things to say, to want, to ask, to seek, to feel, to think, to do.
Know your place. Don’t ask too much. Stay small. Don’t stray too far from the herd.
You became civilised. You were taught to push away half of your nature. You were brainwashed into believing that half – or more – of your being was sinful, sick, bad, broken, evil, dark, negative, pathological, unenlightened, unawakened, unspiritual, unintelligent, untrustable.
You went to war with yourself in the name of love and freedom. The vast open sky of your original nature became obscured by complex clouds of conceptual thought. You became a seeker, running away from the present moment in pursuit of a better moment, no longer trusting yourself. Yet it was so intelligent to shut yourself down in this way. You were only looking for safety and sense in a world that often made no sense, seeking sanity amidst a cacophony of nonsense.
Your defences were creative, not pathological…
Now you are grown, and it is time to question all of this conditioning, unwind this basic fear of life, unlearn what you learned when you were a little one and you craved love and life. It is time to realise that love is not something given but something lived, something deep and ancient and trustworthy within you, and you are not sick, or wrong, or bad, or evil, or unworthy, or a freak of nature, but you are so damn alive, nature itself, an explosion of creativity, an amorphous and intelligent mass of ancient energies that you need not understand, or escape, or numb yourself to, but hold in your vast heart, and breathe into, and trust.
You are no longer a little one, but a vast One, as you always were, despite your growing body, a wide open space in which all of these energies that you once pushed away and disowned can now celebrate themselves, dance as waves in your oceanic embrace, and self-liberate.
In a sea of non-duality (non-separation), a Oneness that you are and have always been, all thoughts, sounds, sensations are not against life but life, not mistakes or punishments or signs of your failure, not separate from you, but little celebrations of you, beloved waves in your ocean, embraceable. Or rather, they are already embraced, for they are timeless, not yours yet intimately yours, as the clouds do not belong to the sky but dance within it.
There is nothing you have to do to receive this grace. Spiritual awakening is not a state, not something you can reach, attain, or be given. It cannot be transmitted by gurus in loincloths. You do not have to travel to India to find it. It is not a reward for your spiritual or material successes. As Nic Higham teaches us, it is not even the result of complex spiritual practices. It is already here, shining within your very ordinary experience, rendering every single moment of your life infinitely precious and worthy of your loving attention.
You are loved for you are love, the lover and the beloved as One.
You are so damn worthy of life.
Living The Life That You Are is a reminder of your original nature, that unconditional love out of which the stars are born. Even if your mind cannot comprehend all the words contained within, your heart will know the truth of them.
Nic will take you on a journey to the place you never left – the present moment – where you will perhaps discover all the peace, love and joy you were always seeking.
Become a child of life again, and see the world through fresh eyes.”
– Jeff Foster, author of Falling in Love With Where You Are and The Deepest Acceptance