It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the "F Word" here - Freedom. We'll share, straight from the trenches, what we have learned from leaving our own addictions behind, and coaching hundreds of others to do the same, and since it's such a heavy topic, we might as well have a good time while we're at it.
Bob: There's an old Zen story of two monks who are traveling - one monk is the master and the other is the student and the disciple and these are ascetic monks. They've renounced the world. They've renounced relationships with women. They've renounced all kinds of other things so that they can live a spiritualized life. Now, why would anybody want to do that? It's not because these things are necessarily bad, but when you're seeking spirituality, when you're seeking a deep inner experience, the more variables you add to your life, the relationships you have to keep up, the food you've got to put on the table, the job you've got to juggle and all that other stuff, the less time you have for spiritual endeavors. [0:01:10.9]
So these two monks are traveling on the countryside from one monastery to another monastery in Japan, and they're traveling and it's kind of rainy in their travels. So they're there in their robs and their garb and they're walking along and they're a little bit soaked and they're a little bit wet, but they're moving along at a pretty good steady pace until they come to a place where there's a river or maybe it was a road that got washed out and there was a lot of water running across it. On the side of the road that they are on, they look up and there is a beautiful young lady standing there, looking distraught on the top of a rock trying not to get her dress wet. It was clearly a very expensive dress, one that if it got super wet or super soiled, it would take a lot more time cleaning and it's something that they couldn’t do. So without a second thought, the master, the older monk, simply grabs her, picks her up, puts her on his back, trudges across the running river or stream or road filled with water - whatever it was - gets to the other side, plops her back down on the other side and without a word, continues along on his journey. [0:02:15.2]
The younger monk is sitting behind him and he is flabbergasted at what just happened, and these monks have made a vow not to touch a woman, not to think about a woman, not to get near a woman, not to interact with them in any way, among all their other vows. This young buck, very, very much keen on living all of the exact rules so that he can reach the highest spiritual place that he needs to get is wandering, toddling along behind this older monk, just completely lost. He's flummoxed. He's bewildered. Why did this happen? How could this monk possibly have just done that? After all these years in the order, after all these years attaining what this master has attained, how could he so simply just do something like that without even thinking in just a moment of fancy? [0:03:03.7]
He didn't just touch the girl. He picked her up. She rode on his back. Her perfume was in his nostrils and then he put her down. So along, they're going on this journey and this young monk is stewing. He's trying to make sense of this - how could the master have done something so contrary to everything that he's been taught and everything that he lives his life for? And as they're nearing their destination, he finally can't stand it any longer, some hours later, and he finally interrupts the master and he says, "Master, I have a question for you." Master nods, again silent. He says, "Look, you and I, we renounced the world and one of the things we renounced is women, and not to touch them, not to get near them, not to interact with them, not to do any of these things, but when we got close to that river, there was that beautiful lady standing there and you literally just picked her up, carried her across it, and put her back down without even thinking about all of the vows that you had made. How could you possibly do that?" The other one looks at him with his wise, kind, gentle eyes and he says, "I put her down at the river. Why are you still carrying her?" [0:04:14.3]
Today, we are going to talk about Zen monks and your concealed carry permit. You see, a lot of times, things happen in life and I mentioned in a previous episode the whole meme that's like, "Did you really have a bad day or did you have a bad 5 minutes that you milked for a whole day?" Things happen in life - good things happen in life, things that we would prefer didn't happen happen in life and as they happen, we think about them and we develop thoughts around them and ideas around them and those create emotions in us and then we carry those with us into other places. It's a concealed carry, you see. It happens and because it happened, there's something that we have to do about it. Never mind that it is not happening now. Never mind that it may never happen again. We still…there's something that we have to do about it. [0:05:00.2]
Because of that, we stew, we munch on things, we carry them with us for a long period of time. Now, who does this? Well, I'll tell you this much - almost everyone I know. Not everyone on the planet, because I know people who don’t do this. There is a man by the name of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, and I've met him and he, like he is a man who when he meets you, he just treats you as you are that day, that moment. If today, you're miserable, he will treat you as he needs to treat someone who is miserable. If the next day, you are exuberant, he will treat you as he would treat anybody who is exuberant and he doesn’t expect you to be that way in the next moment, in the next 10 minutes, in the next day. Just however you are, that's how he treats you. This is a rare quality. It would be nice if everyone could be this way because there would be fewer expectations, fewer broken hearts, fewer emotional turmoils on the planet because of all the expectations we have about the way things should go. And these expectations, which we need to expectorate, meaning cough up and get out of your pectorals or your chest, these expectations are the things that are usually at the root of this: the way the world is, the way it's supposed to go and everything's supposed to go for me to be happy, if it doesn’t go that way, therein lies my suffering and all the stuff that I carry. [0:06:19.7]
So I've seen children do this. We have six kids at home. The little one is 4. He just turned 4 and the older one is 13 and they will carry something, like I love it when my older two boys fight because it's the funniest thing in the world. One - they exaggerate like nobody's business. You know, "He is trying to kill me" is something I often hear, just like any teenager would exaggerate and I sometimes have to sit there and ask him, "Did you actually see him attempting to end your life?" And he, "Uh, no. He was just like, you know, doing a mean face and …" But the thing is, the thought, "Oh, he's trying to kill me," has caused a cascade chain of a nuclear reaction inside of this kid's cranium to the point where his chemistry is off. [0:07:06.6]
His whole body feels like he's being attacked and like he has to retaliate and then he goes and punches a hole in the wall or kicks the door or like shoves his brother or whacks him with a stick. Then that brother, feeling like he's being attacked and having blown it way out of proportion, turns around and does something really mean and then the first brother cries and then before we know it, we have a massive nuclear war that's happened and the only thing left standing is the house - we hope - because both people are in a tizzy. But what happened, really? One person did something. The other person interpreted it and then like ran with it and carried it longer than the moment that it happened. Someone steps on your foot. They stepped on your foot. We talked about this with my wife and I in the episode where we talked about saying "sorry." They stepped on your foot. That's all that happened. Whether they did it meanly or not, it's not happening now and if I'm carrying it, "Oh, well he did it meanly and now I need him to do a certain thing because if he doesn't, then I can't feel okay" and you see, and then a day later, "Well yeah, well a couple of days ago, you stepped on my foot," and we're still carrying it and because we're carrying it, all the bandwidth that we would have had, all the mental bandwidth that we would have had for living life joyfully has been sucked up by taking care of all these resentments and all of these stories and all these revenges, these sweet little revenges we need to have. I've seen people leave churches. [0:08:29.8]
So now let's move on from kids. I've seen people leave churches because somebody in a church building did something and then they took it and they couldn't let it go, and then on top of that, they interpreted it worse and made a bigger story out of it to where it felt like the church was responsible for that person doing the thing that they did. So now it's the church's problem and not the individual's problem and the church should have made sure that of all of its millions of members, this one member in this one spot on the planet should not have done this one thing that the church could never have predicted they would have said or done. [0:09:06.8]
You know, like, but they interpret to mean a church, and so now, they get offended by the church they believed in because the people inside the church didn't behave the way that they wanted them to. You see, it's our likes and our dislikes that really control a lot of our behavior. The permit that we carry in order to give ourselves permission to carry all this ammunitions with us - see what's concealed carry? Right? It's a … you have to have a permit for it, at least I think in most states - you have to a permit for it and there's certain places that you can't conceal carry, usually federal buildings, schools, things like that. I think that also depends on the state a little bit, but you have to have a permit for it. What does that mean? That with this permit, you are now allowed to carry ammunition and a firearm that you can use in defense of self and other people. Right? Therein is a concealed carry permit. [0:10:02.0]
And I have a guy who works with me who carries a concealed carry and carries a gun and sometimes when I'm practicing martial arts and he's forgotten to take it out, sometimes I punch the gun, which is not as pleasant on my hand.. so it works in defense in more ways than just one. It's like worse than Kevlar. Anyway, so you're carrying ammunition with you in the event that you need to defend yourself and you need to defend other people. Now that sounds like a really noble enterprise. Why wouldn't I? Well, it stems from an idea, both learned, a belief, as well as observed because it is true to a certain extent that the world isn't always safe and that I am not good enough and safe enough to be able to protect myself as is and I need some extra weaponry in order to be okay and to feel safe. So if I carry this, then that allows me to feel some level of safety and feel some power - it gives me power - also to protect other people and feel like I can contribute to society. [0:11:02.4]
If you, or someone you know, is looking to drop the F Bomb of Freedom in your life, whether that's from addiction or depression and anxiety or just anything that's making you feel flat out stuck, but you have no clue how to shake it and just want help doing it, head on over to LiberateaMan.com and book a call, where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you've been missing.
Bob: Now I'm not here to talk …to argue about whether or not guns are good or whether you should or should not have conceal carry permits and all the other stuff. There are too many politics in that debate and frankly, I don't know. I don’t personally like guns. I like shooting them from time to time at a range, but I don’t really have an opinion one way or the other on them, other than I don’t personally like them because I'm a martial arts nerd that would prefer to use a spear and a sword and a knife, which might actually be more gruesome and grisly and not a good way to do things. [0:12:01.0]
So there you have it. But Peter Pan used a knife, so that means I'm okay. Captain Hook was the one using cannons. So, right? The bad guys have the guns. Don’t take that too far. Anyway, so here we are. We're doing the same thing with our life, with our thoughts and our feelings towards others and our emotions. We have given ourselves a permit to carry ammunition with us in our life so that we can protect and defend ourselves from other people's thoughts, words and behaviors and protect the ones that we want, the people that we love. Right? And the permit that we have given ourselves is justification that it is okay to feel angry - oh, everybody feels angry. No, no. You're perfectly justified in your feelings. It's okay to feel sadness and grief and mourning. It's okay to feel frustration. It's okay to feel all these things. I am not here to tell you it's not okay to have feelings. If you're having a feeling, it's happening. Calling it okay or not okay is worthless. It's not a useful thing to do. Who cares if it's okay to have a feeling? [0:13:02.1]
If you're having the feeling, what would you like to do with it? And if you have a choice between feeling joy and peace and happiness or feeling anger, which would you choose? If the choice was legitimately yours and you could have whichever one you chose in the moment you chose it, which would you choose? There's not a sane person on the planet that would choose anger except it in jest. They'd be like, "No - I choose anger. You know, it feels good." If you really know what joy feels like, you'd choose joy every time - pleasure, you know pleasantness versus misery. You would choose joy every time. But, we have told ourselves, "No, it's okay." And what we mean by "okay" is not oh, you know, it's okay that these things show up. They're showing up - okay - perfectly normal. Your body is designed to respond this way to the thoughts in your head, but what we mean by "okay" is it's okay to continue to carry that for a while. It's, in fact, healthy for you to mourn and to grieve and I'm …this isn't a mental health … like this would be a totally different discussion, okay. So keep this in context. Okay? Really keep it in context - right? Mourning is one way to allow an emotion to pass through you and leave. It's not a way of holding onto an emotion, so be careful with that. Okay? [0:14:13.1]
We're saying it's okay to feel angry. It's okay to do these things. Meaning I give you permission to hold onto it because that guy did something that you don’t like and because you don’t like it and it's, the world is happening the way you want it to do or as a society collectively, we have decided as a United Nations that certain countries shouldn’t have this many nuclear weapons and because they do, now we're not okay and we need to react in a certain way. I'm not talking about wisdom here, but the feeling and the emotion behind it, we carry around. So now somebody did something to me in my life and I walk into an environment, like my, let's us a domestic example here, okay. When I was stuck inside of my addiction for a long time, you know, really jonesing for porn and for sex and really treating people and looking at people as a means to an end, and let's be honest - that's how I was - people would say like, "No, no. Porn's not bad." I'm not talking about morals here. [0:15:07.5]
Literally, what entertains you, trains you. What you tune into, you turn into and the more you feed your brain with pornography, the more you will continue to see that as one - the ultimate goal of human existence a lot of times, and I'm not saying that happens in every case, but in most cases - two - that's how you'll look at people, as a means to that end or some other end and that ultimately the best expression of human connection is sex. I would walk into a room and I would look at women and I would look at people that…I would treat my kids as a means to an end, meaning like it's their job to be happy with me, to make me feel like a good dad and if they disobey me, then they're not doing that and I'm using them as a father to make me feel good, and I was using my wife to make me feel good and if she was happy with me, then I was happy and if she was not attracted to me or I was behaving whatever, then I would feel upset. And what goes on is like I'm using her as an excuse to feel okay. [0:16:01.8]
So I was using people this way, and then there would be a time where she wasn’t in the mood for intimacy. Okay - she's not in the mood for intimacy and here's what would go on in my head, right: "Gosh, you know, why is it that I always have to do all the work? Why do I always have to initiate it? Why do I always have to make sure that the kids are in bed and that everything's scheduled and everything's set up and like and then you know, you're not really in the mood and I'm supposed to honor your feelings, but you're not to supposed to honor mine and like this is frustrating, you know. I just want a wife who really wants me and I just want this to happen in my life and to have a powerful relationship and you're not giving it to me, but I'm stuck in this marriage because I promised to be here and I'm here for the kids and I'm totally stuck and there's nothing I can do about it, and God, it's your fault because you told me man and woman are supposed to be together, and I here have made this commitment to be with this woman for life, but it's not fair to me because she's not even willing to put out and just meet my needs." We'll talk about human needs another time because that could be a fun foray into some cool stuff. But look at this - is that freedom? [0:17:00.5]
Is that real freedom? That I have given myself a permit to carry this ammunition with me that will allow me, over the next few weeks and months, to treat my wife like a miserable burden on my life. She felt it. She totally felt it. Many, many times she mentioned that she felt like she was …she was like, "I'm a burden to you" or "You treat the kids like we're always in your way." I totally treated her that way because I gave myself a permit to carry some ammunition that I could use to defend a self that was not even worth defending. Your ideas you have about who you are and what you deserve in life and all of that stuff are usually ideas that you picked up somewhere that maybe aren’t the greatest ideas and what if who you are doesn’t really need the defense? It's not like the truth needs a defense. You can call a rock anything you want; it doesn't stop being a rock. Everybody can like rage about this rock. It doesn’t stop being a rock. If you take the rock and you break it down and you melt it and you turn it into ore and you turn it into a sword, it didn't stop being a rock. [0:18:03.4]
It's still fundamentally the same and it went through some processes and transformed, but you didn't change the fact that it was a rock at the time you picked up. The truth needs no defense and who you really are under everything, which is what we'll talk about next time - Bodhidharma and the coaching industry - it's going to be good. But who you really are under everything doesn’t need defense. Neither does anyone else. Unless we're talking about physical danger, you know, nuclear weapons could be present a physical threat. Right? Domestic violence, bullying, stuff like that. Unless we're talking about physical or even emotional danger, sometimes - if you're not equipped to handle people's emotional barbs, I think it's smart to get away from them. But beyond that, you don’t really need a defense nor do you need to give yourself permission to carry all of this ammunition with which to shoot people who you feel are attacking you when, in fact, the attack was mostly perceived by you. Here's the downside of this - carrying ammunition and a gun, it's designed to hurt people. [0:19:04.6]
That's why it's designed and most of the ammunition people carry, it's designed for the same reason, designed as a second-hand retreat, a plan B in case things get out of hand - what can I lash out with that will injure them enough that they won't be able to get to me where I really am and hurt me? The danger with it is, the ammunition itself is poisonous. The more you carry anger, the more you carry greed, the more you carry resentment of all kinds, the more poisonous it is to your system. Chemistry - your chemistry becomes poisonous. Mechanically - tension patterns; breath patterns, which means you lack sufficient oxygen for your system that means eventually your organs will break down. They've linked this to all kinds of things we have mentioned in other episodes of this podcast. The ammunition itself is poisonous. So I'm going to ask you at the end of today the same question that the older monk kindly, gently and with the best of intentions asked the younger one. "I put her down at the river. Why are you still carrying her?" Things in life happen, folks. Why don’t you put them down after they're done instead of carrying them as a big burden on the rest of your journey? Freedom is the ability to be free, even of the past - no matter what it looked like. [0:20:32.6]
So that's a wrap for today. Next time, again - Bodhidharma and the Coaching Industry. It's going to be epic. We'll see you then.
And that's it for today's Alive and Free Podcast. If you enjoyed this show and want some more freedom bombs landing in your ear buds, subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcasts from, and while you're at it, give us a rating and a review. It'll help us keep delivering great stuff to you, and plus, it's just nice to be nice.
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