Authors Note: Even though I have shared many personal moments throughout these blogs, this post in particular, will have some moments of ambiguity. There are moments from this day that belong to me and only me. If you were there, you will completely understand. If you weren’t, hopefully someday you will and it will be because of what you’re about to read. Thank you and enjoy.
“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”
Think back to days that forever changed your life. When you awoke, did you know it would be that day? Despite being forewarned multiple times the day before by Angel, my life was about to change and how did it kick off?
Goddamn protein bars and almonds!
Saturday morning I awoke after getting a whole 5 hours of sleep. Other than Angel also informing me about this being THE day of transformation, it was also the longest day, slated to go from 8:30am until 1am. Do the math. Still, I must get my workout in. While in the hotel gym, I noticed a couple other guys that were also wearing their UPW bracelets. (When you registered, you were given a bracelet and lanyard that showed your seating area by color) Our conversation was short, but I made sure to mention how I was informed this was going to be a long one. So fuel up!
I’m geared up and ready to go, you know, that extra hour of sleep really kicked things up a notch! Truthfully, I was stoked about Tony being back today. Like I mentioned earlier, Joseph is spectacular! But I’m sure even he would admit, the energy when Tony is there, it’s like an amp that goes to 11.
However, if I was jazzed for the fact Tony was going to be there, surely some of the other 10,500 felt the same way. So, I had to get my little ass moving!
Breakfast at the Cafe in the hotel right? WRONG. Doesn’t open until 7. And I needed to be on the road. Whole Foods right? WRONG, they don’t open until 8! SON OF A BITCH!
Well, goddamn it.
Fast Forward to today. It’s been over a week and I can’t even look at a bag of salt and vinegar almonds. Anyway, off to:
At this point, my comfort level with interacting with complete and total strangers is greater than talking to my family. How so? You start to think about how the outside world, your friends, your family, your co-workers, your clients, and how they going to judge you when you get back.
“How was your thing?”
“Did you drink the Kool-Aid?”
“Did you burn your feet?”
“You ‘re not going to be all positive and shit now, right?”
“You DO know Tony Robbins is a fraud?”
My mind was already worrying about something that may or may not happen? Please refer back to the quote at the beginning of this post. For some reason though, I had this feeling I was going to be treated like I just became a Scientologist!
Then my phone rang, it was my father.
My father and I have always had a very, tumultuous relationship. I was predominantly raised by my maternal grandparents and was always a “momma’s boy”. My mom’s family has always been the ones I’ve loved the most and felt like I disappointed the greatest. When I lost my grandparents within a year of each other, that is when my life sputtered out of control. Throw in one of my best friends suicide, and well, you can see why I believed (past tense) back in my 20’s that I was justified in having a drug and alcohol dependency.
Back to my father, we actually enjoyed our conversation. It was lighthearted and even though I sounded like a transvestite phone sex operator, he was so intrigued by what I was doing. That was the moment I knew the day was going to be different.
I even told him I loved him.
When you get inside, they still don’t let you go to your section of choosing until a certain time. Meanwhile, people line up to ensure they get the seat they want. While standing there, a very cute, young, Asian woman started chatting with me. After a bit, we shared a little, not much, a little information about ourselves to each other. For example:
Me: “I’m 38, you?”
Her: “I’m in my 30’s”
Oh was this little shit going to sit next to me. If not for the simple reason of seeing how much I could get out of her. She felt like a challenge. S0, I asked if she would sit next to me and she obliged. Off we went to spend the next, potentially 15 hours with each other.
Another aspect I’ve failed to mention up until now is the dancers. Yes, the Fire Dancers. At least that’s what I think they were called. Their job is to come out and get you pumped up. Remember the music that I described how God awful some of it was? It’s Jock Jams. Plain and simple, it’s Jock Jams and you fucking love it. You’re doing the claps they are doing, the waves they are doing, the dance moves, and everything. 1996-2015 Keith wouldn’t speak to this guy. Now I’m Superfly dancing to Britney and Pitbull. I’m even shaking my ass like I’m the Hotstepper!
The young lady that I just met started to open up. Many of you reading this don’t know me, I’m quite loquacious. Simply put, I talk A LOT and don’t shut the fuck up. But now I’m listening. I’m asking her more and more about her life and finding out she was a first generation Chinese American in her family. The more and more I found out, the more and more I realized how amazing some people are and how spectacular their journeys to this destination was. For you see, it wasn’t just about seeing Tony Robbins, it was seeing how the people you were surrounded by had more in common with you emotionally than you thought. We all get so consumed and/or overwhelmed by our emotions on a day to day basis thinking that no one understands us. Just to find out, we’re not alone. We’re far from alone.
Joseph came out first. Initially, it was kind of a letdown, especially when you thought it was going to be Tony all day and night. Whatever. A let down to this crowd would be the apex compared to A LOT of crowds that I’ve witnessed. Nonetheless, the education began. We learned that if you are going to have an Extraordinary Life, you must see what the 7 areas were and how you value each. This is good for you that weren’t there, because take a moment to look and think about these:
In no particular order: 1)Physical Body. 2)Emotions and Meaning 3)Relationships 4)Time 5)Work/Career/Mission 6) Finances and 7) Celebrate/contribution, Spiritual Sense.
I know where I’m strong but where I want to be stronger. Which means I fully understand my weaknesses. The reason you do this, look at where you’re strong and juxtapose what you do on a daily basis to make them so. Compare that to what you’re weak at. Be honest with yourself, it’s only you, to you, about you, you’re talking to. I had to turn to my newfound, first generation, fine, female friend.
I joked earlier about how I would share lessons I learned and all you had to do was read this blog to discover them. I had to turn to the person to my right, left, behind and in front, a complete stranger, and tell them some things only my fucking therapist knows. When you have a therapist, you are essentially their mafia boss and you’re paying them off to keep their lips zipped! But now, I’m turning to my right or left and saying my biggest fear, the one thing that frightens me to the point of nightmares and constant self-depreciation, is this and this is why. You had to get over that shit quick. Like Day 1, Hour 1. However, the rabbit hole was going deeper. Because…
EXPLOSION! LIKE 10,500 PEOPLE ALL HAVING THE BIGGEST ORGASM OF THEIR LIFE AT ONCE!
Don’t ask me why, it just was, and it was fucking awesome! I could show you a crystal clear video with flawless audio and it would still not even touch what it felt like in that place, at that moment in time. And by the way, I believe I’ve gained some sort of credibility earlier about being at monumental events.
I have to add this in first. Next to the adorable young woman to my left, (I had an aisle seat, remember this) there was a really big, like, looked like NYC mechanic named whose name could have been Lou and his Italian nephew who looked like a Michael. Remember, “Hug 9 people”? Well, there was something else you had to do. “Get in groups of 4 and massage the person in the middle”. That didn’t happen initially. “Lou” kept conveniently disappearing at those moments. And at this point, I was okay with it. We will get back to this shortly. Oh and if you don’t like being touched. These events are NOT for you. Or they could be a way for you to get over that shit!
He opened up with a lot of science about human chemistry and physiology. A theme throughout the weekend. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rocket science, but it was very educating. I’ve been reading his book, listening to his audio cd’s, and watched the documentary; I understood his language. A good sum of it was redundant to me.
Then the children were taken out of the room.
For those that have never seen the documentary or much of anything about Tony Robbins, he curses like a drunk trucker at Mardi Gras. I obviously was very fucking offended. He does acknowledge the children, though. Saying they are going to hear things, but it is meant to shock. Freud did it, so, you know.
“Don’t worry the kids are going into another room, we’ve got some great stuff for them to do. We don’t want them seeing this because this may be very traumatic to them.”
What…the…fuck? Was I scared when I heard this? You bet you’re fucking sweet ass I was. And you would be too! Keep in mind I already walked on fire and may be giving Lou a massage. So, you know, everything is kinda on the table in this place.
But that is why I walked on fire.
THE DICKENS PROCESS
We all know about Scrooge right? Whether you’ve read the immortal classic “A Christmas Carol” or saw Bill Murray in “Scrooged”, you know the concept, right? Past, Present, Future equals changed life. It was at the moment Scrooge sees his future, after examining his childhood and current state, that he ultimately realizes that his life has to change. Well, the next hour was spent writing down our 3 most limiting beliefs. The ones that hold us back, scare us. And guys and gals, I’m not talking about being scared of fucking heights. These are beliefs.
“I believe if I do this, that will happen”
And some of those are pretty damn debilitating, now aren’t they? And I’m turning to my left to tell them to someone I met 3 hours ago.
After we wrote three and why, we wrote their complete antithesis. Our most 3 empowering beliefs and why.
“If only I could do this, this would happen.”
Now that we got those on paper. We were told that what we are about to do is associate so much pain to those three limiting beliefs, that we will never allow ourselves to feel the same way about them again.
Allow me to say this with the highest regard for our Military and those that Serve. I am NOT comparing what we did with what they go through. But the premise can be similar.
We were broken down and then built back up. Reprogrammed. And Tony Robbins is my leader. I’m fucking with you. Just pay attention:
The room went dark and we were told to close our eyes.
“People are going to go through some very strong, intense emotions, don’t comfort them. Let them suffer.”
Imagine the life that you have where you will never change, a life where you will always be limited by these beliefs, a life that is lived in fear.
Now imagine 5 years from now, feeling that exact same way. But worse.
A boy, I say boy because he just sounded so young to me. This boy let out a horrific scream like he was being mutilated. It scared the shit out of me. Then I thought,
“Why aren’t I having that type of moment?”
“Imagine it’s 10 years. Now, people are leaving you because of how you are. You’re all alone”
My knee fucking buckled. I dont know why, but it buckled. I had to reach back for the arm of my seat. Oh God I couldn’t open my eyes because now…The sobs, the screams…it’s all you could hear and then someone screamed:
At 17 years old, I attempted suicide with my baby brother downstairs. At 23 I was fully addicted to alcohol, I buried the two people that raised me and my penance for not telling them how much I loved them was feeling like I disappointed them for perpetuity. At 26 we buried my friend that shot himself in the head. The day before, he called and I didn’t answer because I was too hungover.
What I went through for 12 minutes on November 12th, 2016, was the worst moment of my life. It felt like hell. It was hell…I couldn’t stand straight up. I tried, God knows I tried. All you heard were people crying uncontrollably.
“Let out a sound that describes what that feels like”
I didn’t know our soul could scream.
“Imagine it’s 20 years”
If he were in front of me…I would have fallen to my knees and begged him to stop.
This is what pathetic feels like.
“Let out a sound that describes what THAT feels like”
I didn’t know the terrified child could scream.
“REPEAT AFTER ME!”
NOW I AM THE VOICE
I WILL LEAD, NOT FOLLOW
I WILL BELIEVE, NOT DOUBT
I WILL CREATE, NOT DESTROY
I AM A FORCE FOR GOOD
I AM A LEADER
DEFY THE ODDS!!!
SET A NEW STANDARD!!!
STEP UP! STEP UP!! STEP UP!!!
“NOW MAKE THE SOUND OF EVERLASTING JOY!”
YES! MOTHER FUCKING YES!!!!
This is was unstoppable feels like!
And like that, it turned into the most epic moment of my life. That’s all you get. My words will never accurately describe what happened after. I will continue on with certain aspects, but you must feel it for yourself. Do it for yourself. Give yourself that gift. For some, it will be the very first time you ever truly loved yourself.
And what a glorious feeling that is.
All I’m going to say what happened to me physically is this. I had an aisle seat and had to reach back to make sure I didn’t fall down the stairs because of…I felt sick. Violently sick. But this is aimed at those that were there, does anyone wish they had someone handing out a few tissues? The amount of snot coming out of my nose.
And then we had to stick our fucking fingers up the damn thing. Do you honestly think something didn’t stick to it when I pulled it out? All the while talking to the person to my left?
That was part of breaking the pattern. We touched base with our inner child, and proved how foolish these beliefs were. This was proceeded by replacing a lot of our past with our undetermined future. Oh and what a future I now have waiting for me.
This was the last day with Tony and it was everything you could have prayed, hoped and dreamed of. He was humorous, educating, informative, passionate, honest, and loving. If some how, some way he sees this. Thank you. It was an awful nice thing you did for
And we fucking rocked that place until 12am!!!
The next hour was for those that wished to sign up for the Mastery Program. He came back on after 1am but I left at about 12:45. I had just “exorcised the demons”, I was spent.
Life officially hit the reset button.
Christ, even Lou gave me a massage!
Nothing could touch me, right?
For anyone looking for information about the event or anything to do with Tony Robbins, please call: Angel McDonnell at 858-535-6287. Or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please be sure to tell her that I sent you.
Thank you and be sure to subscribe to find out when my next blog is posted