My Date (not online) With Destiny (not a stripper)!

Due to a severe sleep deprivation, (severe is a little dramatic, but you’re reading a story about a guy’s self-help experience, so you know…) due to arctic like conditions that caused a contingency from Russia, fucking Russia, to dress head to toe in winter clothing, due to the first real nutrition I’ve consumed is in the form of a Jamba Juice smoothie at the Baltimore airport, due to feeling like I’m toeing the high wire hovering above full blown sickness from the aforementioned lack of sleep, frigid conditions, and diet, and due to the fact I really miss my girlfriend:

This may be a little “scattered”.

Oh and I forgot to mention something; due to the fact I just spent six days and six nights at “Emotional Boot camp” where my mind, body, and spirit were broken down in ways I didn’t know existed. I again may be a little all over the place.

For the past five days I was journaling experiences with great ambiguity out of respect to those I came across…Out of respect to those I came across…We’ll get back to “those” momentarily, but first a little exposition.

Last November I attended my first and only other Tony Robbins Live Event/Seminar. It is the highly affordable and highly motivating Unleash the Power Within. If you’d like to read about my experiences there, you can do so by searching previous blog posts.  You know, the ones before I wrote about my online dating exploits.

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When it was all said and done, the primary theme, for me, was we’re not alone. You’re not the only one that thinks that  you’re going crazy because you can’t stop thinking about this. You’re not the only one that feels so alone while experiencing that. And more than anything, you’re not the only one that wonders if this is all your life is ever going to be.

And the other thing about Unleash The Power Within, or UPW as us Robbins fans refer to it as, it’s an adrenaline shot to the spine that lasts a solid couple months. I mean for fucks sake, I was asked if I wanted to interview for a promotion the day after I got back to a job I was intensely contemplating whether or not I should submit my resignation.

Truthfully, when I got back from UPW, you could of dared me to dry hump a radio tower 150 feet in the air while wearing a leopard print thong and I would of said:

“YES!” Made my “move” and started the climb like a 5’6, not quite as hairy, King Kong.  Little Tony Robbins inside humor there.

So, with that, lets get to West Palm Beach.

Date With Destiny was introduced to not only the masses, but myself via the vehicle of Netflix. In the opening scene, we are introduced to the presence that is Tony Robbins.  The same guy that flashed a huge tooth smile with his massive cranium and his hair super glued in it’s part, hour after hour, after hour, after hour every morning and every night in the form of an informercial.  An informercial that used to drive me nuts when it came on at 4am because I was just about to “get off” while watching the latest Girls Gone Wild spot.

Why 4am?

Yet, when the “This is a Presentation of Guthy Renker” credit appeared, followed by this guy telling me how I could not only get wealthy, but live an amazing life like 3 time Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton; I had no idea how much he cared.

Tony-Robbins

I had no fucking clue that this guy cared, genuinely cared that much for his fellow man and woman. No clue. Not one goddamn clue. But there he was, telling this European with Red Shoes (Not Red Shoe Diaries, another thing I used to watch at 4am while…you know) how so many of us think our life is worthless because we had a bad day, a bad week, a bad month, a bad year. Yet, don’t realize how much we could accomplish in a decade.

That was the moment he got me.

This was followed up by me Googling how much it would cost me to go to Date with Destiny.  Then I was backhanded harder than tennis ball hit by Andre Agassi with the thought:

“Holy fuck this is expensive!”

Then, well, then I went to the more affordable UPW.

And after UPW was done, after the willingness to fuck a radio tower, after the job promotion, I instantly signed up for the Super Bowl of self-help, Date with Destiny.

And I almost fucked it all up.

Why? Because I’m an easily influenced douchebag when the one doing the influencing possesses an exquisite ass.

How? By calling my rep at the Tony Robbins Institute and requesting a refund.

She tried to talk me out of it, but I fought back.

“It’s too much money.”

“I want to use to go on a vacation with this girl I just stared to date.”

“Because I’m in love.”

Well, when you sign up for events of this nominal value and high demand, they make you sign a pretty ironclad contract.

But, when I freak out, I freak the fuck out.

Clearly I didn’t need to go to something to strengthen my emotional state.

So, my rep looked into it…

Good thing it took a bit, because, well, the girl, the girl I was so in love with, broke up with me a week later.  Because she:

“Wasn’t feeling it…”

Peace bitch and your amazing ass.

I instantly called my rep and cancelled my request for refund.

Thank, God!

Little did I know WHY she broke things off with me. However, I was just secured my seat to find out exactly why!

When I arrived in West Palm, I wasn’t ready. Not even close.

When I landed in San Jose for UPW, I was taken to the hotel, dropped my bags off and then went straight to the event.  So there was ZERO down time. There was zero time for me to think about what I was about to do.   And what was I thinking?

I didn’t want to be there.  I was scared, legitimately scared. I barely slept that night.  Little did I know it would be the last “good night of sleep”  that I was going to for the next 6 nights.

Definition of good night of sleep during a Tony Robbins Event: More than 5 hours.

Some would define good night of sleep as being no less than 7 or 8. But, this was a perfect metaphor for changing our definitions in life. And that’s one, not the primary, but one major theme I walked away with: Change your definitions.

What was the primary theme?

Well, when we registered we received a color and a number on our name tag. The opening night, we sat with our color.  The girl next to me, a beautiful young redhead was P-4. P stood for Purple.  And of course my mind raced as to why I was given the color purple.  What, did they think I was gay? Feminine? A pussy? At least it wasn’t Pink…

Mr. Pink

For those that don’t know, we had to fill out a bunch of paper work prior to the event.  This will be relevant momentarily.

I was P-1. The seat next to her, well, after we switched, was a lady from Mexicali, Mexico that was forced to go by her husband of two years in an effort to save their marriage. And yeah, her English, not so much. Which is kind of critical when you’re told to share with the stranger sitting next to you. So her and I swapped because there was a beautiful young woman that sat two seats down from me that not only spoke Spanish, she too was a P-1.

Little did I know who she was.

Little did she know who I was.

Little did either of us know what God had planned for us.

Author’s Note: You’ve heard me refer to God multiple times, and I will continue to do so.  Now, my faith is my faith, and I don’t care what yours is. I will simply say this, when we have something such as a God to believe in, then we can believe in ourselves, now can’t we? I’m a Catholic out of respect to those that I loved that are no longer here.  However, I could eviscerate the Catholic Church. No, not because there are priests from the same gene pool as Jerry Sandusky. But because, well, those reasons belong to me, just like my faith…See what I did there? 

Anyway, yeah, that night, that night we got separated into teams of 50 to 60 people. And that was the moment a man, an older man put his arm around me and told me that I was in the right place.

“Keith, do you know who Jeff Arch is?”

“No creepy old man with your arm around me at 2am.”

“Well, he wrote Sleepless in Seattle after his Date with Destiny.  You’re in the right place.”

He was my trainer Randy. And I adored that moment and I adore that man. And he obviously read the aforementioned material.

He informed us that we were “Team Phoenix” and wanted us to find a “buddy” to partner up with. I looked around and well, yeah, I’m a dude. Of course I wanted an attractive female partner.  It’s just my feminine energy that has long been radiating through me.  For those that don’t know me: My mom is a magnificent woman that taught me two things: 1) Work ethic and 2) How to shop.

And my desperation was permeating through my pours.  Until a smile, a beautiful smile looked at me. It was the aforementioned woman that sat two seats down from me.
This young woman was 30, from Ecuador, spoke perfect English, and was about to become one of the most important people I’ve ever met in my life.

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The days and nights that followed were filled with much laughter, many tears, and the occasional being spat on by Tony as he “intervened” with a woman that caused us to, well, lets just say be our “Away Value of Frustration.”

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We witnessed couple find love, we witnessed suicidal people find the miracle in tomorrow, and we witnessed the person in the mirror change from a person who’s reflection we despised to a person we wanted to kiss.

We even witnessed the man, the warrior in us, kill the coward that didn’t want to come there.

 

For all of this and so much more, I thank you Tony Robbins for wanting to serve people like me.

Thank you for having an event that introduced me to stories that inspired me like a young black man that left a life of crime by selling everything he had to attend in efforts to change his life.

Thank you for having this “emotional boot camp” just to break me down so you could build me back up into a man I forgot I was. And the man I aspired to be.

And thank you for having an event that introduced me to a woman that was the perfect partner for 6 days and 6 nights that helped me discover the solutions to the problems that only existed in my head. All the while helping her discover that she IS strong enough for the life she chooses to live.

While UPW motivated and showed us we’re not alone.  DWD (Not Down With Disease for you Phish fans) introduced me to the pure love humanity has to offer. It offered connections to the inspired and it offered connections to the inspiring. It is the Grad school for the dreamers that are willing to work for the dreams they covet.

Date with Destiny brought me to the place I’ve been dying to see:

A little place called Hope.

And that my friends, was the primary theme.

Mark Twain once said, “I’ve seen a lot of problems and only a fraction of them actually happened.”

Clearly he went to Date with Destiny.

And go fuck yourself if you come at me with, “You know Keith, Mark Twain lived in…”

Ya douche, I know….Way to kill the fucking moment.

-k

 

 

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Date with Destiny: Day Five

For the first time, I going to acknowledge something…My juxtaposition of my blog and the actual seminar is a day off. Today was only day 4.  But that doesn’t matter to you, and nor it should.  What should matter is the fact that I spent all this money, traveled all this way, am getting no sleep while freezing my ass off and have eaten more nuts, more protein bars, and had to take more pisses than any normal being should ever have to do…

But who the fuck wants to be “normal” anyway?

By the way, I’m writing this at 2:19AM and why? Because I’m jacked to the tits after what I experienced.

 

Day Four Recap

What I mentioned earlier about the whole protein, pissing, nuts, etc. are what are consistent themes throughout this program, but there is one more: I have met some magnificently marvelous people.

Today was no different.

Now, this a six day seminar, so what does that mean? At some point there is going to be a sales pitch, and today was that day. I wont go into great detail, but lets just say, they’re damn good at it. 

After that, we took the plunge into the deep end of the pool, and this pool is one where, historically,  I struggle to keep my head above water. 

With that being said, what we experienced, and I can only speak from a mens perspective,  was a little,  lets say, tedious, yet enlightening.

For you see, I shared a group with two beautiful women and a young man. To hear their points of view about love, about companionship,  about partnership, was nothing short of an epiphany for me. 

Why? 

I flly found out why every relationship Ive had ended like the goddamn Hindenburg. 

Would you like to know why many, not all, relationships fail? 

Of course you would. 

Ya, Im not going to say much other than…And this is for those that were there, while the rest of you will make false assumptions.

 

-k

Date with Destiny: Day Four

First things first, if I never eat another protein bar again, Id be quite alright with that. 

Aside from the number I brought with me, the they’ve been providing at least one a day as a snack as well. 

And this doesnt take into account how gassy they male some people. Definitely not this guy though………..

Imagine this, youre in a meditation (spoiler, this event does have a little to do with spirituality) and you feel this bubble slowly appear but rapidly grow in your belly. And at this exact moment you smell someone else that shared this same experience, but unlike you, they let go of their “problem”. 

See what I did there?

Day 3 Recap

From the Shaman to the Taxman to the salesman, many came because of the documentary “I Am Not Your Guru”.

The opening scene dealt with a suicidal man. Today was the day we witnessed those precious few that no longer see tomorrow as an option.

I won’t go into detail because, well, this isnt about me and nor do you deserve to be “entertained” by their suffering.  

Unfortunately, some were, and you could tell. 

I will say, the variety of those who spoke was heartwrenching, heartwarming, and enlightening.

I witnessed miracles yesterday. 

And they were beautiful. 

Some of you saw me post this on the Facebook:

This IS joy. 

What can I say, when you play Sweet Child O Mine,  Thunderstruck, and Whole Lotta Love, well,  the little hippie boy that only looked forward to seeing Phish every year comes alive.  

And even though that long haired, hemp Mr. T lived in a fog the majority of his days…Music made his life seem abundant and full.

We all despise segments of our lives. Trust me, my life is full of characters and personas.

But each one of those brought specific lessons about life with them. 

Im realizing this now. 

Im also realizing how I can operate on 5 hours of sleep. 

Yesterday was only 13 hours long.

But at least the turned up the goddamn heat! 

Either that, or Im getting used to that too. 

-k

Date with Destiny: Day 3

Raise of hands, how many guys found themselves wanting to “rub one out” when an impromptu lesbian moment happened during an episode of Jerry Springer?

Ya, THAT didnt happen. But it was the moment I desperately wanted to attend a show of that nature. 

And yesterday, I got a front row seat….literally.
 Day 2 Recap 

I dont know how many of you know this, but I like to tell stories. It’s true, it’s true.

Well, a theme during over the course of thus almost 16 hour day in artic conditions (we started at 10:30AM anr ended at just past 2AM. The temps were so cold that a contingency from fucking Russia were wearing 3 layers and were still cold!) A theme was changing your story.

What was your life story?

Was it a comedy?

Was it drama? 

Was it horror? 

And I fucking loved and hated it. The writer in me was in me was in heaven. While the human in me was in hell. 

I raised my hand to share and Tony, who could play Fezek in the remake of A Princess Bride, was right there. I was shaking…He pointed and picked…Not me. Instead,  and thank god, he picked this woman we will call CJ. (She called herself that, and it was comical at best)

What happened next was the a World War intevention of someone that continuously plays the “victim card” for attention. What we in the Tony Robbins world call significance.

Back and forth they went, all only feet away from me.

Tony kept standing right next to me. I got yelled at, sorta for taking pics. Justifiably so. 

I’ll just say this , Tonys spit landed on me a solid half a dozen times. Some fucking freaks probably consider that a baptism. I was pretty grossed out. But whatever.

Needless to say this was a car crashing into a train. 

It was awkward, uncomfortable, tragic and the mob was getting angry.

This woman wanted so much attention it was absurdly disturbing yet enlightening. 

We all know people like this, and for an hour,  we saw them all get called out.

And CJ was the sacrificial lamb. 

Then, then came her antithesis. She was brought over to my section again and there I sat as a camera crew (cameras are all throughout the hall) Tony, this young lady from Serbia, and CJ. 

ALL RIGHT THERE IN MY LAP!

Needless to say, CJ didn’t learn her lesson. At least not at that moment. 

The day finally ended at just past 2AM. 

And here I am, in line, waiting to get in only 8 hours after. 

Im so tired. So goddamn tired. 

This is much harder than I anticipated. 

Im at a point where I dont know what to expect anymore.

-k

Date with Destiny: Day 2

Day 1 Recap:

There were many of a thing my friends that I wrote as I awaited the “Grand Entry” of our M.C, and I’d like to share that with you now:

Coming in,  like a mass of cattle dying for inspiration. 

Some, some may be here because it looks like something cool to do.
Some may be here because they are looking to save their marriage. 
Some may be here looking to save their lives.
Some may be here looking to create a change in their lives.
I am here because my life is not where it should be. Because I REFUSE to grow old and think to myself, “what if”. 
I am here because my life is too complicated to simply be simple.
I am here because I demand that I fulfill everything that this one life I have is realized. 
I am here because I need to try. I must try. 
In the hall, we waited not asking why they are here. 
In the hall, we waited knowing why.
We are all searching for purpose.
Or we have our purpose and we are trying to realize it.
To fulfill our destiny
I feel like I should do two snaps of my fingers like a poet in some goddamn cafe in San Francisco after reading that.
One thing I didn’t write, by my cynicism wouldn’t let go of was, is this only for those that have the means (financial) to create change in their lives?
I mean, I don’t see the Mexican on a work visa that spends half his day shoveling shit and the other half doing dishes here.  Granted, it may be because this douche closed El Mexicano down in Hudson Falls. (Still bitter)
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But I couldn’t concern myself with that, for you see, I’d been up since 4:30AM, got there at 9:30AM and didn’t leave until 1:30AM.
It was a day full of joy, laughter, tears, thought, anger, and pretty much every and any emotion a human goes through. Well except for those that spend the majority of their day searching for answers while never asking a goddamn question.
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We all bore witness (you bet your ass I had to google if that was the correct tense) to a woman break out of her suicidal shell and dance like a stripper that didn’t care. And it was awesome.  A couple give a chance to having a child when it petrified the potential patriarch to death.  Lotta P’s popping there.
And lastly, witnessed secrets being shared anonymously that would frighten Stephen King.
Then, well, then, after 13 fucking hours in 50-degree temperatures (there was a guy in line that mentioned how he “heard” they keep the room at 10 degrees and I almost jumped down his throat for being such a fucking moron.  Then, well, he was from London, so, you know, I was the fucking American asshole that didn’t get he meant Celsius.)…After 13 hours of jumping on a strained iliopsoas, and after 13 hours of losing my voice to the point of sounding like Kathleen Turner.
Then, well, an old man puts his arm around me as I was getting into my group for the remainder of the week, and says:
“Keith..”
Little weird, but I was wearing a name tag, so…
“Do you know who Jeff Arch is?”
“Should I?” I said back with no display of charm or patience. I was cold, tired, and and older guy just wrapped his arm around me..,so…
“He wrote, “Sleepless In Seattle” after coming to Date with Destiny.  You’re in the right place.” Then she scruffed my hair like only an older man can…
Turns out he’s my group leader.
I don’t know if he’s going to read this, but, that was an awfully nice thing he did…
Day 2, here I go…on 4 hours of fucking sleep mind you!
-k

Date With Destiny: Day One

The Morning Before:

So, ya, Tony Robbins last night wasn’t necessarily the first or twentieth subject of my dreams I was expecting. But there I was last night, tossing and turning in my Double Tree Hilton queen sized bed…

Authors note: They, Double Tree Hilton, are the ones that give you a cookie when you check-in.  Holy goddamn shit are they good!  She gave me two, because, well you know:

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Anyway, ya, there I was, and there was this big toothed, big-headed “guru” punching me in the chin in an “atta boy” manner:

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Which I, in turn, quipped, within the dream:
“Your fist is the size of my face.”

Needless to say, my subconscious was preparing itself.  Needless to say, my conscience had not a godforsaken clue what the hell was going on except why the hell is the air conditioning ALWAYS on in a hotel?

I, of course, did what we all do when we wake, grab my phone…

I got up at my usual start time of about 4:30AM and had an unexpected couple of moments.  The first came from a previous employer during my, less than savory past.

He commented on my blog I posted last night about my state of mind going into today.

If you’re reading this, that was a hell of a thing you said, thank you.

Almost as unexpected as that was a text only a few minutes later from my “pretty much girlfriend.” I thought my early morning anxiety was rubbing off on her, hence the 4:35AM text.  Not so much.  She was going to the gym (love it!) because she had to get her car worked on and had to get her workout in. (Really love it!)

Finally, after trying to convince myself that I’m on vacation, which I technically am, I’m allowed to sleep in.

Not so much. I have this problem with sitting still.

When I finally arose, I made my way over to the desk where my computer sat, waiting.  It shared it’s resting place with my three varieties of powder (Green, white, and yellow.  Please refer to the previous post). Though I am neurotic from time to time with my cleanliness, I am also a complete goddamn mess.  That explains why my desk looked like it was ravaged by Hunter S. Thompson on an all-night supplement binge.  Swear to god, the combination of green, white and neon yellow creates this unique color of drug that only a hippie at an orgy would appreciate.  I have no clue what that means, but I will leave it there because, for some reason, I like it.

Nonetheless, I created more of a mess by getting myself prepped for my morning workout.

It’s 6am and I’m in the gym making a fool of myself trying to get acclimated to my new surroundings.   In walks a woman, she nods and goes to the treadmill.  In walks another woman, she nods and goes to the elliptical.  I too am on an elliptical, because my “iliopsoas” fucking sucks and I can’t run or do jackshit with my left leg other than a fucking elliptical!  Can you tell I’m bitter? Even more than usual?

We all shared something in common though, these wristbands for the event they put on us last night at registration.

Have you ever been to a fitness class, sporting event, or anything where before you do it, no one really talks to each other? Like you’re trying to get mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared for what is about to take place?  For some it’s meditating, for some, it’s getting muckled drunk, and for some, it’s listening to Phish wishing you brought some weed with you on your voyage.

Hippie Keith

But when it’s over, the team wins, the class is finished, or you’re done listening to the 45-minute version of a song; you all are best friends because you just shared a mutual experience.

This is the calm before the storm.  As tomorrow morning, things will be VERY different.  And it’s not just because we all are trying to work off those delicious fucking cookies that I swear were the ones that the Oracle gave to Neo in “The Matrix”.

It’s because we’re all about to share something so profound, that…well…

To be continued…

-k

A Year Later and A Night Before

About a day ago, I had a conversation with someone I refer to as my “pretty much girlfriend”.  Yes, for those that have read my nonsensical ramblings about my bi-polar dating life; I have a girlfriend.  And I will be quite disappointed if I ever date anyone ever again.  It’s not because I’m in love with her dog, Max.  Even though, as I referred to her yesterday as my Renee Zellweger and Max is my lispy, little, blond haired boy. Which of course would make me her Tom Cruise…  Instead of Scientology, I’m her short suitor that goes to Tony Robbins seminars, and we’ll get to that in a second.

Anyway, she mentioned how she wished that she would know what her workout was going to be before she went to the gym-She goes to a gym that has these crossfit-esque classes.  Well, this lead me to comment:

“Sometimes it’s better not knowing. Anxiety is created by the known, fright comes from the unknown”.
Okay, I didn’t put it just like that.  Truthfully,  I probably dropped about four f-bombs and tried to grab her like she was an intern on the Today Show.

But you get the point.

May I add, she is genuinely intrigued by what I have to say.  And for a guy that is more accustomed to people telling him to shut the fuck up as opposed to asking what he thinks…It’s not only welcomed, but genuinely appreciated.

Here comes my point:

Last year, I was giddy as a little school girl about flying cross country to see Tony Robbins for the first time in San Jose, CA. However,  a day earlier, this happened:

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Everywhere I went that day, the tension was palpable.  Granted, I was in cities like Albany, Chicago, and the aforementioned “Silicon Valley”.  If I had a layover, in lets say, Tuscaloosa, I would have sat next to this and she would have been fucking pumped about the next four years!

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Fast forward to today, and here I am, after getting thoroughly searched due to a bag of white protein powder (not heroin), a bag of green powder (not marijuana) and a bag of neon yellow powder (As if I were smuggling Predator blood onto the flight)

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Not to mention 6 packs of gum, 12 protein bars, and a variety of mixed nuts in six individual baggies.

For you see, I know what to expect when I go see this big toothed son of a bitch.

Tony-Robbins

And I’m scared shitless.

Why?

Is it because I’m worried about the aforementioned girl that I’ve been waiting to finally meet finding someone else? No.  I’m convinced this is…well, something, unlike anything.

Is it because I’m wondering what is happening at my job in the final month of my first year as a General Sales Manager of four radio stations? No. Because I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Not to mention my auto-reply on my email told everyone one I would be without cell or email. Simply put, fuck off. I’ll be back when I’m back.

Is it because last year I went through only 4 days of this “Emotional BootCamp” and this is going to be pretty much the same thing only turned up to “11”?

 

You bet your sweet ass it is!

Guys and gals, let me explain something, this isn’t easy!  This isn’t “lets go sing happy fucking songs, hug, and sing kumbaya!”

This is, I expect, no, I demand more from me.  This is the dream that wakes me, the dream that becomes a nightmare because it was never realized.  And no,  I don’t mean waking up to take a piss with a hard-on!

 

By the way, the above is the most realistic moment in movie history.

Essentially, I don’t know what I have, or why I have it, but I fly too close to the sun with my expectations sometimes.  And when I do, my mind races as if I’ll never taste the air at the apex of my mental summit.

So here I am and here I sit after making a mad dash from my “pretty much girlfriends” house at 4am so I could get home and workout while probably waking up my downstairs neighbor.
So here I am and here I sit after narrowly avoiding pissing myself while trying to find a parking spot that was reminiscent of Walmart on the 15th of the month.

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So here I am and here I sit after having my bags searched like I was smuggling narcotics and womens undergarments to Lithuania.

So here I am and here I sit waiting to find out how far I can go.

I am blessed beyond belief to have the means to do this.

I am blessed beyond belief to have the desire to do this.

I am blessed beyond belief to have the opportunity to do this.

I am blessed beyond belief to have the talent that I know needs to be harnessed by this.

However, those are my burdens.

I must do this because of said means.

I must do this because of said desire.

I must do this because of said opportunity.

I must do this because God has blessed me with these talents that must be harnessed.

So here I am and here I sit…waiting…

So here I am and here I sit…ready for whatever the next week has in store.

-k