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Practicing martial arts teaches you more about living a life full of happiness than any self-help book or support group ever could. 


Because martial arts reveal how to use your environment and emotions to your advantage.

Too many people blame other people and their circumstances for how they feel. This turns you into a helpless victim and makes it impossible to change your life. 

But when you can consciously use your emotions, they become an adventure instead of an accident. And your life becomes easier, happier, and more beautiful than you ever imagined. 

In this episode, I share how to go from coping with your emotions to having conscious control over them. Listen now. 

Show highlights include:

  • How being punched, prodded, and poked teaches you more about living well than you’d ever learn in a self-help book or support group (0:53) 
  • The insidious way people use humor to deceive themselves about their life (4:47) 
  • How your thoughts imprison you and steal your joy (5:58) 
  • The counterintuitive reason having chiseled abs and strong muscles make it harder to have happiness, health, and wellbeing (7:51) 
  • Why martial arts can help you overcome your addictions and emotional baggage (9:09) 
  • How to transform your base state from misery to joyful (even if you still get sad and depressed once in a while) (14:35) 
  • The weird way to use your pent-up rage to obliterate your addictions (16:52)  

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.

If you’d like to buy a copy of my book, Is That Even Possible?: The Nuts and Bolts of Energy Healing for the Curious, Wary, and Totally Bewildered, you can find it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/That-Even-Possible-Healing-Bewildered/dp/1512336041

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. [00:27.6]

Bob: Welcome back to the Alive and Free Podcast. Today, we get to talk about going from coping with life, to being consciously involved with it in a really powerful way and having a choice and how you say and how you experience it, right? This is coping to conscious. Now, here's the deal. Some time ago, I'm going to tell you about two experiences with martial arts training, because, well, I think it's relevant and I've probably learned more about living well by being punched and prodded and poked than I've ever learned from a theory or in a book. As we talked about last time, when we were talking about a body-based approach, there is something about the body learning it, experientially, which is a tested in psychological circles. That really makes things stick, which is why almost everything I do is around getting a person to have an experience that then re patterns that new way of thinking and being, and feeling into their body. [01:28.1]

Well, some years ago I was out in LA training with Martin Wheeler. He's a, one of the systema instructors that I've trained with. And I got I decided to pay for a private lesson with him the first time I did that and have since done many, many more with him. But I decided to pay for a private lesson. I didn't know what I wanted him to do or anything. And so, he's like, okay, cool. And so, he grabs this big guy from across the room, Lance and the guy probably weighs 250 pounds, 300 pounds. I don't know how to measure that. And he was like really into judo. He wasn't like just a big guy that was just big. He was big and trained and an instructor in his own, tight. Then he brings him over and he gives them a knife and he has him attack me. And so, he's coming at me and I'm not really able to do much, but evade get out of the way I'm freaking out and I can't do anything to him except get out of the way, not a bad skill set by the way. Getting out of the way and not being struck as not a mark against your ability as a martial artist. It just means that, well, you keep having to deal with the person because they're still there. [02:37.7]

And so, when he would come, I would freeze, cause I was looking at him like here's this refrigerator coming at me with all of this intensity. And I don't, I don't know what to do. I don't know how to break him down. He's too strong. I try to get the knife out of his hand. I try and wrestle them to the ground and I'd do all the wrong things. And Martin kind of was like, stop. All right, come here. He grabs the knife and he's like, look, you need to relax. You need to see that this is not just a person in front of you. It's not one whole thing, it's a series of conscious and unconscious tension patterns and breath movements and there's all sorts of places that he's not aware of what's going on in his body and they're just a whole dynamic range of things happening. And if you could float inside that range, you'll be able to have the skill to start to pick it apart. I of course don't understand what he's saying at that point in time, nor do I have the skillset and the perceptual ability to see all of that in motion. If I were to sit still with somebody doing craniosacral therapy or some of the other perceptual things that I had been doing, yeah, sure I could start to perceive what's going on in their system. But when someone's coming at me, the ability to perceive on the fly, like that was not in my wheelhouse at the time at all. Even now I wouldn't say that I'm the most skilled on the planet by any stretch of the imagination. [03:57.4]

So here he is, and he's telling me, look, there's more to it, but you're never going to be able to see that if you can't relax. So, he grabs the knife and he says, I'm going to stab you with this. Now, hold on, it's a training knife. So, it's metal, it's probably about, I don't know, a little less than a quarter inch thick on the tip and it's a little bit rounded, but it's pokey. Imagine poking yourself with a quarter inch or eight of an inch thickness round thing. It's still pokey. He's like, I'm going to stab you with this. And what I want you to do is die. And I want you to let me stab you and I want you to go with it and just pay attention. So, he stabs me and I bend over and then he turns the knife and I keep shifting and adjusting and like moving with the knife as best as possible. And then I get to a place where I'm like stuck. I'm a little twisted up, whatever. So, I just collapsed on the ground and I just chuckle. I'm like, ah, you know, because I'm so used to using humor, to deflect me from seeing what's really going on to really not be honest with myself about what happened, which what was, what happened was I got afraid and I got stuck in my head and I wasn't able to continue to move. [05:08.8]

And so, when I fell on the ground and I collapsed like that just kind of half chuckling, he got right in my face and he stuck the knife in my face and he's like, “No, don't ignore this, it's happening. Stay with it, relax, let it happen. But watch it happen. Don't ignore it.” I was like, Yeah Sir, you know, school did school boy there. And so, I get up and he's like, we're going to do it again. And so, he goes again, and I can't remember if it was one or two or three more times as we go down and I'm just falling and falling all the way down. I can't take my attention off of it for a moment all the way down to my arm, touching the ground and my fingertips, relaxing everything. And he's like there now you're relaxed. Now you're ready to fight. Here's this thing, something was happening to me. And the more I was in my head about it, the more it could, he could just push me over with a slightest push with just a little poke. But the more I was not in my head about it and with it consciously and intentionally just being with it and allowing it to happen without resistance and deciding how I wanted to dance with it. The more I was relaxed and open and capable of doing things. That's example, number one. [06:26.6]

Example, number two, I am with Martin again and now he comes at me and I'm asking him about taking strikes. What I mean by that, is someone punches you in, if you can take it, you're doing well. This is a whole series in itself, right? A whole basis of training and help how to let your body relax from all of the chronic tensions it's holding. Cause every amounts of tension you have, it actually creates more pain in your system and reverberates your system. Think of it this way. If you grab onto a fence really tightly and someone jerks the fence, then your whole body is going to go with it. But if you're holding on loosely, someone jerks the fence, it might rattle in your grip, might shake her arm a little bit. If you're barely touching it, it might move, but you might not get affected if you're not touching it at all, no big deal. The amount of tension you have, the depth of your grip on things in your life, the more things will affect you. And the problem with that is we live in a society that really focuses on muscle tension and muscle tone. We want people to have chiseled abs and sculpted chest and all these things. And while it is not bad to have functional muscle that is strong and powerful, the tense variety, the kind that is constantly chiseled in three-dimensional that way is hard, it's rigid. And think about rigid things, water. When you smack it just moves around ice shatters. [07:47.0]

The more rigid something gets, the more breakable it is. And we train ourselves this way with our bodies, with how we exercise with how we move with how we fantasize about how our bodies should be. And then we do it with our emotions. We tend to our bodies in all kinds of way to fight off stuff. We've trained our bodies in completely the wrong way to be able to have happiness, health and wellbeing. We've trained them to be able to look good, but is it any wonder why so many of the people that look so great are going through all of these problematic phases in their life, including drug addictions and alcoholism and bingeing and purging with food, including multiple relationships where they can't seem to find just a deep, committed relationship with themselves, all kinds of different struggles and suicides and all that stuff. Because these people are so busy, focused on the external on the rigidity. So, when you're taking a strike, meaning when someone pokes you in some way, whether it's physically in this case or whether it's just mentally or circumstantially, something doesn't happen the way you want, the tighter, your grip on that, the more it will affect you. Does that make sense? [08:52.0]

So here I am. I'm about to get punched, right? And I know this guy hits hard. He's I mean, he even hitting me lightly, it's already a little bit scary sometimes. So, I know he has the capacity to hit really hard. I also know he has control and isn't going to take me beyond what I, what I really am capable of that he can see. But he's sitting there and he's going to hit me automatically. My grip on, oh no, I want to be able to take it strong. I have to be able to handle it this way. I can't have pain. I'm afraid my body is who I am. And if my body dies, I'm over and all of these thought processes are there. So, my breath stops my heart rates up. I'm trying to relax. My shoulders are getting tense and so on, like jumping up and down and relaxing. And then he finally hits me and I just double over and I'm doing my breathing and taking the pain out of the area to kind of relax. He's like, how does it feel? I was like, like death. And he's like, good. But you notice, you let it collapse you. The hit came and you dealt with it. But in the middle of dealing with it, you collapsed, you weren't functional. You were just inside your own head trying to deal with your own stuff. [09:55.0]

And then he turned around and he coached me. He said, sowhat I want you to do is when it comes, I want you to continue to breathe like this. But what I want you to do is maintain your posture in this upright way, keep it relaxed. And I want you to curl your fists so that all the energy of that strike goes through your body and collects in your fist, just so it's there. And so, I'm like, okay, cool. So, then he decks me again this time. I think he hit me harder. I'm not sure. So, I'm still feeling the pain in my gut, but at the same time, I kept my posture, right. I was still breathing and I had my fists loosely closed and I felt this weight and this heaviness sitting there in the fist. And he looks at me and he kind of like half smiles. And he's like, you, do you feel that he's like, now you're ready to fight, right? Because the energy that came in, wasn't just something I coped with. Now, it was something I consciously was able to use to my advantage so that I had a bulk of energy built up and relaxation built up in my system to deploy. Now you can use that for healing. You can use it for delivering a strike back. You can use it just for energy through the day. You can dissipate it through your body. You can let go of it. But to be able to have conscious control of the body's reaction to circumstances is a really, really powerful thing to be able to train inside of your system. [11:13.3]

Now, here's the deal. When we're talking about addiction, when we're talking about depression, when we're talking about stress and anxiety and all of these other things, it is the exact same. I know they seem different. Well, it's not like a fight, but basically every time someone insults you, it's like someone taking a jab at you in a fight. It's less intense, so, you don't notice, but the way you respond, when someone throws a punch at you is the same way you respond when someone insults you, it's just happening on such a small scale that you don't notice it. And unless you retrain that response, then it's going to keep happening. It'll keep building up tensions and stresses inside your body. And then guess what? Now you have other behaviors that come up and other mechanisms you're using, whether they're addictions or whether you go into depressive mood swings or manic depressive, or whether you go into anxiety or panic attacks or anything like that, or whether you end up, you know, binge eating on food, whatever it is that you go to, you know, bingeing on Netflix or watching YouTube till all hours of the night, or just playing video games with everybody. None of these in and of themselves are necessarily bad things in their own, right, depending on how you want your life experience to be. But when they're happening as coping mechanisms, instead of conscious mechanisms, then we run into problems. [12:30.3]

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. [12:58.9]

As I mentioned, last time, you can burn fat through stress and you can burn fat through play and joy. When you burn it through stress, you still get the energy, but you get a lot of toxins depleted into the system. When you burn it through joy and play, you get the energy, no toxins in the body is built better. The same thing happens when getting rid of emotions, right? When dealing with life circumstances and things of that nature. You can deal with them through stress and pain, or you can deal with them through joy. And when you're doing any particular activity in life, when you're doing it as a coping mechanism to escape life, it is not going to have the same powerful building effect on your life and your quality of life as well that same exercise done from a conscious choice, a conscious perspective. So, let's look at The Wrath of God for a second. [13:54.2]

A lot of people talk about anger and they want to argue for their limitations. They want to gold plate their limitations, and they want to say, Bob, it's just, it's part of being human. You know, being sad is part of being human, being depressed as part of being human. I will say that all of those are possibilities of being human. But my question is, are you doing it on purpose or is it accidentally happening to you? You have no control. And you're just using it as it being human as an excuse, because you don't want to have to deal with the fact that you don't know how to control it. It's time to step up and take responsibility for what you, you have the capacity to be in charge of how you feel. You really do. You may not have been taught how yet you may not have been given the skills, but it's within you. And you really can be dripping in joy all the time and on top of that, still experience depression. Think of it like the ocean, the ocean made of joy water, and the ocean can be angry at times and peaceful at times and all the other stuff, but it's still made of the same substance, the quality or salination of the ocean doesn't change, unless you do something to shift it, right? [14:57.8]

You got to melt the polarized caps and that takes focus and attention and heat, right? And as those melt, now, the salination content of the ocean changes, the currents might change the, the kind of wildlife that lived in the ocean changes and different ones, possibly spring up all of this changes by changing the basic content and quality of the water in the ocean. And then whether it's heaving up and down on a windy day with a storm on top, or whether it's Placid as can be this still the, the water is the same. The content of the ocean is the same. That's what we're talking about, the basic quality of your life can shift from so-so to much better. It can shift from miserable to joyful, and it can be that way all the time even when there are times when you have to use wrath or you have to use depression, or you have to use sadness. So why would you want to use those? One sometimes to connect with another person on a level of their sadness, helps them see that there's somebody that cares. You know, if you're just nonchalant, some people don't respond to that. And they're like, ah, this is real for me. Why don't you, why are you treating it like a joke? [16:02.3]

So being able to go there without it controlling, you allows you to connect with another human being, but then being able to leave there allows you to lead them back out because they see, oh, wait, it's possible to not be stuck here. You've gotta be able to go in and come back out. This is important, right? Why would you want to use anger? Anger is a very, very useful tool. So, if we come back to The Wrath of God in scripture, because a lot of people want to defend this, right? There are many instances in scripture where it says that God in his wrath did certain things. There's instances where Jesus he wept, right and was sad for certain things. And the question isn't most people stop there and they're like, see, like God does things in anger, but the question isn't whether or not that's okay, the question is, how were they using it? If we're going to use wrath consciously, you can use wrath to constantly like anger and frustration to stoke the flames inside of you and get you to take action. [17:02.4]

For instance, if you are fed up with being addicted to something, use that, get yourself so fed up that you're like, I'm done with this. This is over. I am so done because that will get you into action, that is conscious use of fed-up ness or anger in God's case, right. At the time of Noah, he was so ticked off at the people on the planet. He's like, look, this whole long distance relationship thing with me and heaven and you on the planet, isn't working, I'm going to have to wipe you out and bring you back. So, we can have a face-to-face discussion. The wrath was used consciously, whether you agree with that or not, right. This is just an example, right. And, and it's been used so many other times as well. Wrath can be used. Sadness can be used. Happiness and joy can be used. Compassion has been used as Jesus was filled with compassion, many times for the people that he was busy, helping, right and creating miracles and healing for. So, all emotions can be used consciously. The question is, are you capable of doing that? Are you aware of how emotion works inside your system? Are you then aware of what to do to start to use that so you can gather it and use it as a tool or let it go if not needed? So that emotion becomes an adventure and not an accident. [18:20.6]

It's time that as a generation of people, we stopped blaming our circumstances and other people for the things that we feel, because until we do that, we will be victims and we will be manipulated in all kinds of ways, just because we are literally giving our power away by declaring inside ourselves. That they're the ones that are making it happen. And as long as you believe that your emotions come from outside of you in that place, you will never have power to create your emotions a hundred percent. But as soon as you realize that your emotions do not come from outside of you, that you are the one that created them, whether you are aware of it or not, then there is power. Because then you will start asking the right questions that will allow you finally to develop the skills necessary, to have a choice in how you feel. And instead of coping with your environment, instead of coping with stress, instead of coping with coworkers or coping with your wife or your kids, or your husband, or your friends, or your neighbors, or your church congregation, or whatever else is going on, or coping with financial difficulties, instead of coping, you'll be able to consciously use whatever arises in that situation, whether it's a knife in your gut or a fist in your belly or a feeling inside your skin and to use it to your advantage. We go from coping to conscious. [19:42.0]

Now that takes training. It is not something that happens automatically these days. Maybe it could, if we weren't adults teaching our kids to be like we are, but we tend to pass on our bad habits to the next generation believing we know better. And as a result, the kids grow up also blaming everyone else for their feelings instead of recognizing where they come from. So, it's going to take some training. It's going to take some reworking. Just recognize though, that if you were unconscious, when so-and-so did X or Y you would have no emotions about it only when you learn about it and start thinking about it, do your emotions come. That means they're coming from your thoughts, your feelings and your biological response that has been trained and habitual to your circumstances. And guess what? There's a way out. [20:28.4]

This is why I've put together the programs I put together. Not I didn't put them together for other people originally. I wanted to be free of having everyone else dictate how I felt, whether it's a world pandemic or a bank account balance that goes south or north, or whether it's winning a card game or whether it's having a birthday party or not, or getting the right present at Christmas or any number of other things, whatever it is. I didn't want to be a victim to my circumstances anymore because it was painful. And it made me feel like I was broken and it made me feel like life was miserable. But as soon as I started learning how to be in charge and it took some time and I'm still not perfect at it. But as soon as I started learning how to be in charge, guess what the entire quality of life changed and the kinds of things I was able to experience and do change. And the kind of parent I was able to be to my kids changed, and the kind of husband I'm able to be with my wife changed. Everything changed, even the way that I coach people came as a result of learning, how to finally be the one in charge of how I feel. And that came from instead of learning coping skills, to learning the skills, to finally retrain it so that it becomes a conscious choice. And that is a layer deeper than you'll probably find in most places on the planet. That's something that I hope to bequeath to the world. And it's not, I'm not the only one teaching stuff like this, right? But I'm the only one teaching it in the way that I'm putting it together, because I haven't seen it this way before. [22:02.3]

And so, if you're finding places, that's teaching this great, go for it. If not go to the freedomspecialist.com look up like, add, like, get on a phone. If you want to come to one of our retreats, great. If not go to thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and start with the basic emotional training. I think that's a program everyone should be able to do. It's only 300 bucks. It is even just the bonus mayday moments material. I just had a therapist today tell me like, it would take him six to eight sessions in a therapy office to teach one of his clients, even what's in the bonus material. And I put it together in one program there as a bonus to the main juice of things, which they don't teach in therapy sessions right. And so, he was endorsing it and highly recommending it. And six to eight sessions, even if you're getting the cheapest therapists around, maybe you're getting to 80 bucks a session or something. That's a significant investment. That's the bonus material. [22:54.5]

I have it there because I want you to succeed. I'm there supporting you with answers to those questions. So, if you want that, yes, this is in some ways, a sales pitch for you to have a quality life. I want to sell you on finally being in charge of your emotions. And this is one simple way to do it. It's fun. I try to keep it lighthearted and goofy, and I hope you have a great time doing it, but go to thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow. Get started moving from coping to conscious today. Don't wait because time's passing and you don't get these moments back. [23:27.2]

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. [23:45.4]

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