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Too many of us carry around a bitter cup of pain, suffering, and misery. When these negative feelings flavor our “tea bags” it’s no surprise that finding peace and joy is so hard. Your cup doesn’t have any room for feeling better.

Before you can find happiness and freedom, you have to empty your cup. Only then will there be room for more positive feelings. It’s not easy, but it works like nothing you’ve ever seen.

In this episode, I reveal how to empty your cup so you can fill it up with the sweet nectar of happiness and freedom.

Here Are The Show Highlights:

  • The case for being grateful for all of your struggles (7:58)
  • The subtle shift that helps you enjoy life (even if you’ve struggled with happiness your whole life) (9:36)
  • The “Tea Bag Method” for changing anything in your life that you’re not satisfied with (11:13)
  • How compulsiveness stunts your confidence to make good decisions (17:11)
  • Why fear hogties you in a prison cell and slowly sabotages every aspect of your life (17:36)

If you want to radically change how much control you have over your emotions in as little as 20 days, you can go to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and sign up for the Choose Your Own Emotion course.

If you or somebody you know is looking to drop the ‘F’ Bomb of freedom in your life and break free from addiction, depression, anxiety or anything that’s making you feel flat-out stuck, head over to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/ and book a call where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you’ve been missing.

Read Full Transcript

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. [00:27.9]

Bob: A little over a hundred years ago, there was a Japanese tea master by the name of Nan-In and he was there and he received a visit from a university professor who had come to inquire about what Zen was all about. Now, this kind of inquiry had been going on for a long time, there's a beautiful book called ‘Zen in The Art of Archery’ by Eugen Herrigel who was a German philosopher and had studied Zen and mysticism and been completely befuddled by it. Because the thing about mysticism is it defies all scientific inquiry because it's about personal subjective experience and science hates personal subjective experience. In fact, most therapies out there in the world get lambasted and treated as if they are less than adequate, simply because there's not really a scientific method of measuring the kinds of things happening with these people's experiences. And we keep trying to invent ways to legitimize them with science when the reality is personal experience is personal experience and that's all there is to it. [01:34.2]

So Eugen Herrigel, he went out, he got a chance to go to Japan and he's like all study these arts. And they said, no, you don't want to study Zen, let's study some of the arts that are approached that are attached to it. So he went and studied archery. He also studied, I think, rifle shooting… aaahhh not rifle shooting, that's not an art. But maybe another one and then his wife did flower arranging and archery, I think. And but main, the main arts that are associated with Zen are swordsmanship and archery and calligraphy and flower arranging and there might be one other one that I'm missing, maybe wrestling. I doubt, I don't know. But these were arts that are touched by Zen, meaning the essence of what Zen Buddhism is about. This direct pointing to the true self and being loyal to your true inner nature and spontaneous and allowing what is spontaneously arising from that to come into reality, you can find in these arts and the way that they're trained in Japan. [02:29.0]

Oh, the fifth one is the Tea Ceremony and now we come back to Nan-In. So the tea ceremony is one of them and it is a highly ritualistic process. When I was in graduate school at the University of Washington, there was an art history class devoted entirely to the Tea Ceremony, it's history and development it's methods of practice. And by the end of the semester, you sat for a four hour long tea ceremony on your knees and seiza while the tea ceremony went through, went through. And there was a certain way that the tea had to be poured certain method for putting hot water in the cups and in the tea and all of these different things. And it's a really elaborate, incredible ceremony. I didn't take the class because I wasn't interested in kneeling for four hours and drinking tea, but I was fascinated by the ritual with it. And so it's a very elaborate art. And so this man, this professor comes to Nan-In and he's, he's just asking about Zen. [03:23.6]

Now He's a man. Who's very, very well learned. He's been around the block, he studied all kinds of things and Zen is still a puzzle to him, it's a conundrum. Because you can't get at it by deduction, you can't get in it by reason you can't get it by rationalizing things or justifying things or inductive or deductive logic or anything like that. You simply have to get yourself to a place where the experience spontaneously arises within you. Maybe, you know, maybe you don't know the word Zen comes from Chinese word, which was ‘Chan’. And the Chinese word came from the Sanskrit word, ‘Dhayna’, which is one of the eight branches of yoga. Eight limbs of yoga, the ashtanga, Dhayna is a word, which means meditation is a kind of meditation where like, you're, you're doing nothing particularly, but you're entirely involved in what is, okay. And so, and there's a lot of different practices and ways to get people into a state of Deanna or a state of Zen. But a lot of people confuse it. Like, just like when I was teaching Tai Chi years ago, people come in, they're like, Oh, I'm practicing my Tai Chi or they'll come. And they'll say, I'm practicing yoga. [04:31.0]

Yoga means union with all that is Tai Chi means like being in touch with the grand ultimate of all things, the creator of all that is. And so you don't do Tai-Chi, you don't do yoga. You don't practice yoga, even though that's how we talk about it. It's a state of being, meditation is a state of being, it's not something you do. It's not a certain sitting pose or posture or a breathing pattern. You don't practice your meditation, you're either meditative or not. And the same thing could be said in the West with prayer, prayerfulness is a state of being in contact with that, which created all things. It isn't, Oh, I, I kneel down and I say these things, we say that as prayers, but the reality is what's more important is that you're plugged into the power outlet from where all this creation came from. Prayer is being plugged in, it's not talking about being plugged in. It's not asking the plug for stuff, it's just being plugged in. And the same goes with meditation and the same goes with Chan and Zen and Dhayna, right? [05:29.7]

And so it's a state of being that you have to enter into that has to spontaneous arise and that's why it's so frustrating to people trying to intellectualize it. And that's why it's so easily dismissed because it looks stupid sometimes, if you're looking at it purely from a western eye. And my dad is an engineer he's incredibly intelligent and very, very many ways. And yet to him and his Western developed mind, I have a Western development too. So I'm not different. I've just experienced a lot of other things, right. But to his mind, it doesn't make sense, it seems kind of hokey or weird. And in those places, we run into problems because we won't accept it unless our life is in dire enough strips that we're willing to reach out and say, look, I've tried everything, let me try this. And how many stories have you listened to where people were in dire health straights and then they finally went to an acupuncturist, or they went to some other healers, spiritual healer, they were willing to try things that were outside of their norm because the stuff that was is within their norm, wasn't working. But they still couldn't rationalize it, they still couldn't make it make sense in a western context. [06:31.6]

So here's this professor he's there, he's looking at Nan-In, he's asking him about Zen. And Nan-In is performing a little tiny tea ceremony, and he's pouring him some tea as he's listening, the professor's holding the tea, the tea cup and, and Nan-In keeps pouring until the tea cup fills and then continues to fill and brim over. You've probably heard a short version of this story, it fills over, fills out, and the professor gets burned. It's like, Whoa, what are you doing? You need to stop. It's already fall. And Nan-In looks at him and he says exactly, “How can you possibly learn more until you empty your cup?” Now, most people, when they hear this tale, they go in and they talk about how you have to show up as a student and they talk about how you have to, you know, throw away everything that you did know so that you can really take this in. You can trust the process and they, they use this in an educational context and that's a very good way to do it, but I want you to see this from a totally different aspect. [07:27.3]

The people that I've worked with, the people that we help at the freedom specialists, they come to us and they're desperate. You know, their lives are falling apart, their marriages are falling apart, they can't control their behavior. Their depression is off the wall, their anxiety is through the roof or they're stuck their businesses falling apart. And they're coming to us, they wanting a very, very different experience of their life, but they want it to be a pill like something they can take without having to change anything. Their cup is full of ideas that they love and ideas that have at least to this point, help them survive to this point. And that much is true of everyone. If you're struggling in life, take a moment and pat yourself on the back because you've survived all of that struggle to this point and you're still alive and you're still okay. And everything that you've done has gotten you to this point and so we cling to it, even if it's not maybe the best thing, we still cling to it, addictive behaviors, you know, thought processes that aren't helpful, money beliefs. We cling to them because, well, we don't want to be wrong, go check out the episode on, on our, on knowledge for that one. But we cleaned to them because they're saving our lives in some way, they've helped us get to this point. [08:31.5]

And so we come with our cup full and we say, please fix my surroundings, but we don't want to empty the cup. And I'm here to, maybe it give you a different way of looking at it. Emptying the cup does not mean set aside all the stuff you've learned or just pay attention to me or only believe what I say. Your cup is full and in some cases for some people, it's a bitter cup and you know, if you're religious at all Christian Christ, he drank from the buttercup, right? He drank from everyone's bitter cup, if you, if you of that belief system. And the cup is full of our life, that juice, that's the juice we've squeezed out of our life. And we say, I want my life different, but I don't want to empty this cup because the cup is full of all the thought processes and all the beliefs that we have about ourselves and that we have about the world, the turbos, the snarls, all that stuff that we've talked about in the past weeks. And in order to be able to experience a new life, to have a different kind of tea poured into the cup, and it can be herbal tea. If you don't like caffeinated tea, I like chrysanthemum tea, it's yummy. [09:36.2]

If you want a different kind of tea poured in the cup, then you have to get rid of the teabag, that's making the tea you're currently drinking. And the teabag that's making the key to tea you're currently drinking is you've got to empty your cup of that. And that is all of your beliefs about yourself, all of your beliefs, about the world, all of your beliefs, about relationships and everything else that are creating that flavor of tea. And so what's beautiful about this is when you come and let's say, you've been struggling for your whole life feeling like nobody loves you, or that you're just not lovable, and when you go through a process of simply emptying the teacup of that, then when more hot water is poured in AKA, the stuff of life, life circumstances, suddenly life takes on a different flavor. And all you did was remove the teabag, you switched it out. You got rid of the thing, creating the bitter flavor and instead what you have is a certain sweetness that shows up, maybe even added a little honey, whatever else you did. And you have a totally different flavor of life not because the circumstances of life. The hot water hasn't changed, it's just hot water. It hasn't changed at all, but because of the teabag that you and I have now, it's got a different flavor to it. [10:42.8]

If you or someone you know is looking to drop the F-bomb of “Freedom” in their life, whether that's from past trauma, depression, anxiety, addiction, or any other host of emotional and personal struggles, but they just don't know how or wants some help doing it. Head on over to thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and check out some of the things we've got in store for you or book a call so we can look at your unique situation and get you the help that you're looking for. [11:10.8]

And people come and they want it flavor to their life. What do you want to be different in your life? If you're listening to this, is it your career? Is it your relationships? If there's anything in your life that you want to be different, that you're dissatisfied with, that you're stuck with, guess what? There's a teabag in there and we need to tea up and knock it out of the park, so to speak. There's a teabag in there. And what needs to happen is not that you start to try and say, well, no, that hot water doesn't work, let me get a different hot water and run around trying to fix all your circumstances. Sometimes that's needed. I mean, obviously if you have nastiness in the water, maybe you want to purify the water a little bit, but what more often than not needs to happen is that you have to empty your cup of the teabag that's giving you the bitter flavor in the first place. And those are things that you've believed about yourself. Now, how do you identify those? I think I've talked about different ways of doing it, but in this instance, what I want to do is talk about one other way that you can do it. And that is the things that you tell other people to defend your position or the things that you complain about that you don't recognize are there is one way to do it. [12:15.5]

So last, just recently, we have a client who's really struggled for 20 years with an addictive behavior. And he's, you know, he's got, he's a father of several children. You know, his wife is holds down a bunch of jobs. They are not like in the best position financially all the time, but they're making ends meet just fine. And they're doing what they can, but he shuts down a lot. And I'll tell you when I was in those situations in my life, I would shut down all the time. I would implode, you know, I believed I was worthless. So any evidence outside of me that would indicate that I was worthless, I would just shut down. And so if my wife complained about something or wanted to talk about something or had something that she wanted me to do, it always felt like an attack and I would shut down. And sometimes I would say things like, I know, I know I'm just a schmuck or I'm just stupid, I don't know. Or sometimes other times I would go on the rampage and I would try to defend myself, like I'm not stupid you know. You know, I'm not an idiot. I do all these things and those types of languaging and those types of behaviors they show up. [13:13.5]

And that is a perfect way to dig into your psychology, to dig into your mentality and identify very, very easily. Some of the turbos, some of the snarls that are keeping you stuck, the teabag that is flavoring the water of, of your life, right? And so one of the things that this client he was frustrated with is that he was frustrated that it seemed like other people have the answers and they still doesn't. He was frustrated with this, you know, emotional security doesn't, he doesn't know how to make his own decisions or make these decisions. He's always insecure with himself. He doesn't feel like he makes good decisions. Now, if you are me and I am you, would you, that's a weird thing to think about, isn't it? Right? Would you, could you see how that would show up in anybody's life? A baby shows up in the world. It doesn't know how to make decisions in the sense that we talk about making decisions as it's growing up, his parents are making decisions for it. And then all of a sudden, when it gets up there a little bit in age, it starts wanting to make decisions on its own. [14:13.1]

And many times those decisions are maybe not the best for the family, or maybe not the healthiest decisions. And so parents are correcting them all the time, not maliciously, but it just happens. And it's learning, Oh man, there are people in the world that know more than I do. There are authority figures in the world that know more than I do. I don't know how to make the best decisions for myself. And there's a lot of hesitation to the point where I literally have a four year old that still can't make the decision to go to the bathroom on his own. He has to come and ask permission first, can I go to the bathroom? You know, is that a good idea? Yes. Go to the bathroom. You don't have to wake me up in the middle of the night for permission, just go. But that's still a decision that he hasn't figured out how to make yet. And he doesn't trust himself in his decision making. And then you grow up and then if you, if you grew up in religious circles, then they're going to tell you what is right. And that there's an authority figure that's going to tell you what is right. And I'm not saying that's bad about religion, I'm just saying like, in those searches circumstances, let's explore what a baby would make of this or a kid would make of this, that other people know what's right. And I don't know what's right. And even if what I think is the best thing to think, other people are still going to get on my case and I'm going to have to hide what I think is right in order to get what I want out of these people. [15:24.4]

So if I want to treat in class, even if I think the answer is dumb, I'll tell the teacher the answer she wants so that I can get the treat and we start to learn to lie. And we start to learn to distrust our ability to make decisions either because we think that we're not capable of it. Or we think that, well, if I make my decision that I'm not going to get what I want. And so all of this hesitation starts to show up in life, t's in church circles, it's in school. You know with teachers are asking you questions, and you don't want to get, you don't want to get it wrong. It happens in jobs where the boss is making decisions and you've got to go to a higher up and you've got to ask permission for certain things to make. And then when you're making your own decision decisions, you're on the hook for it and you're responsible and everything else that's going on and you're struggling making those decisions. And then when it's money decision, everything else like you've learned as a kid and most kids make this like other people know better than they do. And they'll either fight against it and rebel or they'll couch out to it. There's a lot of different behaviors around it, but ultimately, can you see how anybody on earth would hesitate about making decisions with second guess themselves would feel like they're not capable of it? [16:28.9]

I couldn't make my own decisions when I was in inside of those really compulsive stages in my life. I couldn't, I felt like I was doomed to fail. I was always asking Jasmine to make the decisions for me. I would find something that I thought was amazing that in my heart, I was like, I want to do this, this is really going to help. And I would still go to my wife and I would like have her make the decision for me. And she didn't even have the information. She hadn't studied it. She hadn't researched it. She just going off of like price tag and general feel for what I'm doing. And I was literally forcing her to make decisions so that I didn't have to be the one that was making them. So I wasn't the one that was wrong if they didn't pan out, because I really wanted the things that I wanted, but I didn't want to have to suffer consequences if I didn't want those. And everybody who's been inside of these really compulsive behaviors is going to start to doubt their decisions because sometimes they're going and doing things that they don't like to do. [17:20.8]

Relapse; go listen to the episode on relapse for that one. But they're doing things that they don't, they don't like, and they're not fully in control of and so they stopped trusting themselves. And now I don't know if I can manage around computers. And I don't know if I can manage around these, these types of environments. And I don't know if I can manage this. And so they start removing their, the number of decisions they can make from their life. And they literally hogtie themselves down into some prison cell to eliminate the number of decisions they have to make so that they're not stepping on toes, hurting other people. And a lot of it just comes from the fear of me being hurt or the fear of hurting other people. Because everyone I've worked with really is a genuine human being. And they do care about other people and they're not out to hurt themselves or anyone else. [18:01.5]

Well, this, we pick this up when we're growing up, we learn these things. And if you want to have a life where you're no longer second guessing yourself, guess what gets to happen? The teabag called second guessing, Hmmm…that's a yummy tea, isn't it? Hmm….Yeah. Do you like it? Would you like another cup? No. What you have to do is remove the teabag and that's done with a very, very simple process of reverse engineering, the way that it was embedded. Now you can do that very, very quickly, especially if you've really pinpointed exactly where it came from and how it, how it got embedded in your system. And it's not, it's not a difficult, it just takes a little bit of finesse. But the key here to understand is in order for you to experience life differently, to have a different flavor of tea in your cup, you got to remove the teabag that's created the flavor of tea you have in the first place. [18:46.3]

Too many people are trying to go A to B, and they think the first step between A to B is to go to B. No, the first step is to let go of A, otherwise you'll never be able to reach B. Now you might say, okay, walk towards B, but at a certain point if you're still holding onto A, you're going to get stopped and you have to let go of A, in order to be able to reach B. Otherwise, if you could already reach it, then that's not a journey you're already there. So by definition, if you wanted to go to B it's out of your reach, which means you have to let go of A first. And that's what, that's what I'm talking about here today. To empty your cup, isn't just, Oh, well, yeah, set aside all those ideas you had in order to learn something new. That's a nice way of doing in education, but this is deeper. To empty your cup of life, of the bitterness that you have carried or the pain or the misery that you have carried for so long, you have to go in and remove the teabag. And for many people, it's, it's such a memorized way of being that you've got to remove it from every area of life. [19:43.1]

You've got to remove it from the physiology, you know, the tension patterns and the muscles and the cells and the mechanical postural issues and things like that. You've got to remove it from the emotions. You got to remove it from the mentality of the mind. You got to, you have to remove the baggage and the emotional charge from memories. And you've got to remove it from the way that they interact in relationships and there are new skills to be learned. And it doesn't take long to learn them all, it doesn't. And it's actually kind of a fun process when you're doing it because you're just discovering more and more freedom. So it's a process about total freedom and happiness and yet at the same time you were we're removing the teabag and so the flavor of the tea keeps getting sweeter because life keeps pouring it's hot water in, right? Not a problem being in hot water if the hot water is yummy tasting, right? My mom used to say that all the time, “You're in hot water, Mr.” But it's not a problem, if the hot water is really yummy tasting, right? [20:34.3]

And so in this case, I was reading this story the other day and reminded of this, but thinking on, on a whole new level. It's time to empty your cup, empty your cup of the teabag that's creating the flavor of tea that you're tasting, so that you can finally taste a new life. And if you want help doing that, I tell you one of the best things to do is to come to our events because we give you all of our other programs, access to all of our other programs I've ever created when you're coming and then outside of coaching. And so you get access to all those and you get to come and we get to work through all of these different layers of being inside of these events. So if you want to come to one or, you know, schedule a call with us, let's talk or, or go sign up at thefreedomspecialists.com/newleaf or thefreedomspecialists.com/unshackled, and let's taste the different tea in life, right? It's time to tea up for something so much greater. [21:22.4]

And that's it for todays “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. Plus, it's just nice to be nice. [21:40.3]

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