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Many listeners, Freedom Specialist clients, and even other Freedom Specialist coaches wonder how I parent. And admittedly, I have some weird and counterintuitive parenting strategies that might make other parents scoff, but work well for my kids and my family.

For example, I don’t congratulate my kids when they create an awesome drawing. Why? Because it trains them to seek validation from outside sources. Instead, I use it as a way to help them validate themselves.

And this is just one example of many.

In this episode, you’ll discover my favorite parenting strategies, why I use specific techniques that sound counterintuitive, and how you can use some of my weird parenting methods to have more fun while parenting.

Listen now.

Show Highlights Include

  • The counterintuitive way congratulating your children when they succeed trains them to seek outside validation when they accomplish anything (2:13)
  • How to prevent your children from needing a participation trophy by “flipping” your compliments (4:39)
  • 2 questions to ask your kids when they’re upset at a problem to prepare them for the real world (7:07)
  • How solving problems for your children stunts their growth and limits their potential as adults (9:47)
  • 3 simple parenting techniques from a mother who raised two MDs and a CEO that you can implement in your household (13:45)
  • The insidious way helping someone can cripple them (and what to do instead) (14:55)
  • Why watching your children struggle better prepares them for real life (even if it hurts you in the moment) (16:56)
  • How being vulnerable as a parent helps your kids step into themselves completely and without fear (23:27)
  • The “Playful Adventure” parenting secret for using play to teach your children responsibility (29:29)

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 is 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've 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.

(00:35): And welcome back to the Alive and Free Podcast. Last week we talked about getting caught today. Lee wants to grill me and catch me in my actions about parenting. I won't pretend to be the world's best parent because I have no idea what that would even mean. And I don't think that that's a useful it's even a useful question. What is the best way to parent a child? Because you have a lot of variables in that. Who's the parent? Who's the child? What are the parents' natural skill sets? What are the child's natural skill sets? Do they have a sibling? Does that sibling need to be parented differently? All that other good stuff. So Lee has decided it's time to try and pin me down. We'll see if I can squirrel out of this one.

(01:14): It is not going to be too brutal, but I've, I've been around your family and your home enough, enough to see some things in action. It's been a privilege. And there's been times where I've had a few tears in my eyes. Wow, that's really significant. And I even posted something a few weeks ago just listening to you do your different voices with stories and kids laughing and giggling as they're jumping off of beds or whatever in the middle of the night. And it's just such a sweet thing. And it's not just something I know because I've been around enough that this isn't an occasional thing, but I hear this frequently when I'm here. It's just how much your kids enjoy that process. So it's a lot of fun to see that. And we have talked about around approval and allowing kids to question things and a lot of different things. But I know that when one of your children does something, you don't necessarily say, Hey, that's a great job. You actually challenge them to go deeper into what's going on. Would you mind talking about that a little bit?

(02:25): Yeah. I talked about this a long time ago on the episode called Catastrophic Compliments. I mean, the idea here is, and this was something that a friend of mine, Seth Ellsworth, who is a life slash business, I think he's mostly a business kind of coach that I first heard him mention sort of an offhand way, but he didn't end up taking it the way that I thought he did. So I misunderstood what my friend was saying and that became something else. But it was essentially that he didn't want his kids relying on him to be the source of their approval and the source of their validation. And I took that further. I started thinking about it and I was like, look, every time I stand in the place of complimenting somebody, anybody, I'm standing in the place of judge. And this doesn't include if I just have a spontaneous reaction to something they do, my kids do ninja tricking and all kinds of stuff, and they'll do something and I'm like, man, that looked amazing.

(03:22): And those types of spontaneous things I don't have any trouble with. But when it's just like, Hey, you did such a good job. It's either a pep talk or it's disingenuous. My kids are like, do you like my drawing? And if I don't like the drawing because I think it's hideous or ugly or I don't kind of connect with it because I have my own personal tastes, the last thing I want to do is lie. Cuz I don't want that to be a practice. But I also don't want them to feel like, well, if I don't like it, then that's not okay. And so it was a weird situation for me to be in where I'm like, how do I interact with my kids in a way that doesn't force me to have to lie? And at the same time allows them to really celebrate everything that they're doing in their life.

(04:05): And so I just started turning the question back on them. Hey dad, do you like my drawing? Boy it, it really sounds like you're excited about this. Which part are you most excited about? That's what I really care about. I'll try and find something that I do appreciate about it. If I'm not just going to sit there and be like, no, it's hideous, go away. But I also am not going to beat around the bush anymore because that's a common practice around here where everybody's busy trying to give each other trophies for participation instead of accepting that there are things that other people won't like. And if my kids aren't prepared for that in life, that's a problem. If they need a participation trophy in order for them to feel like they're worth something, that's an issue because that's not the way life works. And so I didn't want them in that way to feel like that.

(04:52): And so I started pushing the whole thing back on them. Well, how do you feel about it? What did that feel like? You seem really excited about that. What's that about, man? You got a smile on your face after you look really proud of that. Tell me more. It seems like it's bigger than what you just made it out to be. I'll look at their facial expressions and I'll make a comment about it. I'm actually paying attention to my kids. That means that their life is valuable to me because I'm paying attention to it. And on top of it, it gives them a chance to be proud of themselves without needing my approval for them to be proud of. Really your approval are anyone's approval for them to look at something that they've done and feel like they've put in the effort that they feel satisfied with and that it is their best according to that moment and that they can feel good about that.

(05:44): I didn't have any of that kind of approval as a kid. I mean, your mom was not busy going, you're such a good kid. You fit everywhere. You've belonged, but you still wanted that approval so desperately. So even though it wasn't given to you, still the construct was set up to where mom needs to give approval and it's be fair, right? Mom and dad do approve of things or disapprove of things. If we don't like the way the room is clean, we still invite that. But I'm curious about how that shows up because I've seen this all over the place with thousands of people about how it shows up as an adult seeking approval.

(06:23): As I look back, one of the hard thing for me as a kid was that the standard kept changing. And so I would listen intently, I'm going to get it right this time. And then when I wouldn't get it right, because there was a lot of unhealthy things happening in the family, I thought that I was insane or crazy. So even to as an adult, if something goes wrong, I assume that it's my fault. I don't always have the ability to say, I did what I knew to do. This was right, or whatever. In that moment, I still question myself. But as I watched your kids and they have the gift of being able to say, I feel good about this, that's really significant to me. I've also seen as one of your children might have a, and I think both of you and Jasmine are great at this. A kid will come with a problem and they'll be really upset. And rather than you buying into that upsetness, you have said several times, okay, what are you going to do about it? How are we going to work through this? Do you wanna talk about that?

(07:30): Yeah I think there's a general trend of adults talking about how children aren't prepared for certain things or they're not ready for that, or this is only for adults. And I think that that's personally, I think that's a load of hogwash. I mean, yeah, I'm not going to be showing my kids porno pornographic material or stuff like that. But then the question is, if I don't want my kids doing it, why do I want me doing it? If I don't want my kids engaging in a lot of violent behavior and violent video games, am I going to go and play the same thing? Because I know the research says that it's bad. So I mean there's that question, but outside of that, there's a lot of talk about what kids are prepared for developmentally and all this other stuff. And I think there's some wisdom of that.

(08:08): But every child is different. And if a parent will just pay attention, what is obvious to the kid, the kid can handle should manifest itself. If you're paying attention, if the kid's starting to get emotionally worked up, now is not the time to have them logically think out their problem. , you deal with the emotion first. But something that I've seen from the very get-go is that I don't really have a few cool things I could teach my kids about things that I've learned, but most of what I've learned in my life is utter poppycock. , okay, it's total hogwash. It's not worth repeating. Isn't that worth sharing? Most of the time, and I've been around the globe, it's not like I haven't studied a lot of stuff, but there's not a lot to teach them about their life, which is the only thing that matters is that they live their life well.

(08:57): They don't need to live my life. They don't need to know the things I need to know. But they do need to learn to solve their own problems. They do need to learn that they're capable of doing that. They do need to learn that there's not going to be somebody else around that's solving their problems. And so the way that I look at raising kids, and Jasmine and I are more or less united on this, is it by the time they leave home at 18, they need to be competent and they need to make all their mistakes at home when it's not a felony yet. And they need to start learning how to solve their troubles. So from a young age, I mean 3, 4, 5, 6, if they're dealing with something and they're capable of having a conversation, I ask 'em, well, what do they wanna do about that?

(09:40): They might not have any answers. So I'll say, I have an idea or two. Do you want to hear that? Sometimes they don't want to hear it, they just wanna cry. They just wanna do something else. But if I try to solve all their problems, all they learn to do is be dependent on me. And then they become older children who constantly need mom or dad to solve all their squabbles. Older children who constantly need mom or dad to make all their food and do all their laundry and handle all their dishes and resolve all of their homework problems. And it's not that we don't help them along the way, but one way for them to solve problems is to ask for help. It's just the other night, my 15 year old was struggling, he got home, he's tired, there's dishes to be done, it's his night to do set to fill up the dishwasher.

(10:25): It's not even when we were kids and it was like my turn to actually wash the dishes. It was like put them in the dishwasher. And he said to his brother, he's like, I am not going to do this. I'm going to go to bed. This is Yoshi, by the way. You guys listened to him a few weeks ago. He said, I'm not going to do this. I'm going to go to bed and mom's just going to get mad at me in the morning and that's it. So I walked upstairs, do you remember this? Were you okay? Yeah, I walked this, Lee was here. I walked upstairs and I talked to him a little bit and I was like, Hey dude I heard that cuz Mr kind of tattled on him, the oldest one, I was like, Hey, I heard that you just decided to brush off the dishes and not do it and just deal with mom's wrath in the morning.

(11:09): And he was like, yeah, I'm just tired. I was like, is that the only way to solve this problem? Either do the dishes and hate it or do them in the morning and well it was sweep the floor. It wasn't even do the dishes, it was way easier or don't do them and then deal with mom in the morning. And he was like, I don't know. And I was like, I can't think of another. I'm like, what might be one other possible way that you could do it? He couldn't come up with any answers. He couldn't come up in any answers. And I was like, okay. Because he was just like, what do both do 'em in the morning and deal with mom and ? And I was like, okay, that's another option, but that's not what I had in mind. I'm just trying to get you to solve this.

(11:50): Think through it really clearly. His younger brother who's 12 comes in, I'm like, do you have any ideas? And he is like, I don't know. I'm like, what does your 10 year old brother do when he wants something? And he goes, ask, huh, that's a funny thought. What do you think about that? And he still didn't get it. So he still wasn't connecting the dots between, oh wait, the way that I've set up this whole problem itself is problematic. And so finally it dawns on him like, oh, I could actually ask for help. And so then I don't have to do them tonight cuz I'm tired, but I also don't have to deal with mom yelling me in the morning because I ask someone to help. That is a way to solve problems. It's not that they have to do everything on their own delegation recruiting a team member or somebody else like that.

(12:35): These are all important skills. So then he finally was like I said, okay. He's like, oh, okay, yeah, I could ask. I'm like, yeah, are you going to? And then he, okay dad, could you help me to sweep to Florida? And I was like, yeah, sure, you just enjoy yourself, get some rest. And it was that simple. But I don't want to just sweep the floor, which I would've had to do anyway cuz we don't want to keep a dirty floor in the morning and then have him deal with any aftermath in the morning. I don't want him dealing with mom's wrath. Not that it would've been really wrath, teenagers exaggerate. It was just he needs to learn. So I spent an extra several minutes trying to get him to see a little bit more clearly how his own view of the situation could be challenged.

(13:20): I'm aware of one family where if a child didn't want to do a certain choice, they had the option to trade with mom or dad, but it could be anything that mom or dad wanted them to do and they would make that bargain. And a lot after a while they learned that it's better just to do the job they were assigned. Otherwise they're out picking up dog poo or cleaning the chicken coop or something that they don't want to do. It was interesting. I read an article the other day and this lady was saying that I raised two MDs and a C E O and this is how I did it. And I've seen some of you that you do some of these same things in your household. She said that she'll prepare breakfast, she prepared breakfast for her children, but she never packed their lunch.

(14:03): She gave them parameters on what to wear, but she never dressed them or laid their clothes out. And she also never talked to them about their homework in the sense of is it done, is it done, is it done? They knew the expectations, but she was placing this responsibility back on her children for that time when she wasn't going to be there. I had a friend in college who was homeschooled and he was the best student. He just, he knew the parameters and got it done and his work was always done and there was no one ever barking at him to do it. He was just responsible and had learned that I see some of those same things happening in your house, which I appreciate as well, which re reminds me of talking about encouraging people. And there I know that you've done a podcast on it, but what happens when you actually encourage someone is that you give them your courage. And as I learned that lesson from you, I was kind of just shocked at thinking back of all the decades of people that I've helped and encouraged and how I've really not empowered them and that's a such a cliche word anymore. But I really haven't helped them stand in their own power or strength or ability.

(15:24): Yeah, I mean this, it's sort of a radical way to state this, but every time you save somebody in some fashion, you kind of crippled them or you have the potential to crippling them. And I'm not talking about saving their life if they literally lack the capacity, but in emotional struggles and all of these other things, every time you reach out and you try to save somebody, you end up crippling them because you teach them that they need some outside help and are not capable of doing it on their own. That's huge. And this was a few years ago when I came to that kind of awareness and realization and as soon as I came to that awareness and realization, I was like, oh dear, I gotta stop helping the people that I'm my clientele. I have to get them in a position to where they can see that they have the capacity to do it.

(16:13): It changed the way that I explained things many times to where every time they'd have some breakthrough, I was trying to get rid of them blaming me for their goodness. Because people blame. They blame pharmaceuticals for their health. They blame nutrition for their health. They blame the sunlight for their vitamin D. They blame so many things. And that doesn't mean those aren't factors, but all the time if they're giving away their own ability, their health is caused by something on the outside, then they don't actually see that the source of their life is inside of them and the source of their health and their wellbeing and all of that stuff and their ingenuity and their creativity, their ability to solve problems. They are just using the outside world as a way to touch into what they're already capable of. And so with my kids, I didn't want them to be crippled and it's not easy for me to watch them struggle.

(17:07): It's not easy for me to watch them fail all the time. It's not easy for me to watch them get bad grades. For me, grades was like the thing, my parents were like, your job is to do school well, and I earned a bunch of scholarships because of it. But then to have kids come home from school and Jasmine is not an academic, and so she struggled with some subjects in school and I remember in college she had to take a statistics class and she got at least a B in it or a B minus in it because she would come home and then I'd have to read her statistics textbook and figure out what it meant and then try to explain it to her so that she could then do the stuff just so that she could pass the class. That's back in the day when I was busy trying to save people. If you or someone 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 want some help doing it, head on over to the freedom specialist.com/feel better now 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.

(18:23): I still have the desire in me as much as possible to, and I think every human kind of has this, if you've had some experience to reach out to try and prevent somebody from tripping all over themselves or running into a wall. But I also had to realize that my kid falling off the couch might be the fastest way for him to learn how to not stead on the couch that way my kid getting burned in a fire might be the fastest way to learn as long as I'm not letting them die and I'm keeping them alive. They really do have to learn a lot on their own. So I stepped back from some of the encouragement I stepped back. I just thought like, well, is this something that you want to keep do? We'll give them reasons why. We'll talk through the issues with them, but I don't want them to feel like they need a pep talk because if I'm giving 'em a pep talk, it's sending the message, you need a pep talk or you can't do this on your own, under your own motivation. And then we train kids to need cheers, to need trophies, to need all kinds of charisma, to need all kinds of motivation. And if you just look at how absolutely unproductive I've been over the course of my life because I've been seeking motivation in order to be able to do something instead of simply being able to just go do it, there's thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of hours I have. I mastered , the ability to need motivation and to need encouragement. And that made me an emotional wreck for a long time.

(19:52): Man. I keep thinking about different scenarios where I've seen you with your kids and particularly the older two boys, Mr. And Yoshi as they've been at retreats and stuff like that, and there on their phones like other teens and they've got their friends and there's all these stories of girls and all this stuff happening. And I've seen Mr. Especially because he's been to the most retreats, but just really step into a lot of responsibility. And it's really beautiful to watch you and him work side by side in that environment. But I think it is uncommon who he is in that space. I think that is uncommon for a young man his age to do what he does.

(20:37): But I don't think it's impossible for any child to step up. Maybe different personalities wouldn't be in that space. So Noah, my third son, he probably wouldn't be in that space in that way. He's a little bit more introverted, he's not as interested in those type of topics. And even Yoshi second son, he's, his interests lie in other fields. He's a little bit more reserving or may not do things in the spotlight in the same way. I think the difference there has been that I haven't tried to hide from any of them what I do or what I've done in my life. I mean, if you really look at all of the stuff online that is about me, as much as I've tried to hold out a possibility for people, it's by holding out in the book is no different. I mean, it's all over the place in terms of things I've done, even when my kids were tiny.

(21:29): And the ways that my emotions would take me over there is my entire life is sort of online in terms of these are all the ways that I messed up being human and look if I can make it so you kind of thing. And I haven't hidden that from the kids. Even when Jasmine and I were having a really rough time and it looked like, oh my gosh, I might not make it. I remember crying in the lap of one of my kids and a lot of adults would be like, your kids don't need that on them and all that other stuff. I'm very, very much aware that the kids know what's happening, even if they don't have words or concepts for it, they can feel all the tension, they can feel all the drama, they can feel all the lies, all the hiding, all the fake smiles.

(22:14): They can feel everything. And so I've never hidden it from them. And that has meant that they've had some big emotions from time to time, but at the same time then they've watched their father handle his stuff, they have asked questions, they've handled their stuff, we've had a good time and haven't, they're not scarred by it because I know how to help 'em through that. And so I think that that's possible for every child. I don't think it's, it is, I mean, yes, Mr is unique in just like every person is unique and he's developed skills and abilities and he's worked with hundreds of people at this stage in the game helping them release things from their system. And he's had hugely emotional experiences with them where he is had to step in and help people who've been through some big things, people who are struggling with suicide, friends of his, like we talked about a little while ago, older folks, women men, children, all these people that come are just, they have stuff in their life that they're carrying and he's sat there non-judgmentally helping them through it.

(23:12): And I think any child more or less is capable of that to the extent that the environment that they grow up in affords that possibility. Not every kid has that environment. You're not broken parents if you're not providing that for your kids. I mean, you're not me, you're you. And if you're actually able to be all the way vulnerable, not having to hide anything about your life, that provides an incredible environment for the kid to step into themselves as like, okay, I can go try things. I can go mess stuff up, I can make mistakes, I can learn new things, I can have new interests and I can be emotional. I can be human and not have that define me. And I think that that's really what Mr. And the others have benefited from. And by the way, folks, he wasn't benefiting from that for the first eight years of his life, I was really stuck in my own stuff. And then from those eight years forward, there was several years spent where I was still trying to figure things out. And so it's not like he spent his entire life free of with a parent that just came down who knows everything. And I don't know everything now at all. I know probably less than I did before, but it doesn't matter what age your kids are, as soon as you start showing up, you'd be surprised what changes in them.

(24:28): One of the other things I wanna talk about, which I see a lot of in your household from both you and Jasmine, is that there's just a lot of play. Even tonight, Yoshi was coming down the stairs and Jasmine stepped around the corner when he got to the bottom of the stairs, she jumped out and he was all cool. And I'm not going to react to this, but just there is this element of play. I see you consistently rolling around on the ground or on the trampoline or whatever. Would you speak to the part that play plays in your family? Yeah. Mean this is, Jasmine grew up with siblings that tease, tease each other. So they have that kind of playfulness. And that's not my kind of playfulness. I teasing. I was really sensitive about it and I couldn't tease my sisters because they were sisters and I was the only boy and I would get grounded and stuff. And I didn't have brothers to wrestle with, so I didn't have a lot of physical kind of teasing. So I had to get that from my martial arts training as I grew up. But life was way too serious when I was going through trying to figure out how to not get divorced, how to not kill myself, how to deal with the depressive stuff and how to figure out how to have a career and live a life when I had an art degree. And somehow I gotta support a family on that.

(25:53): And when I, I started a martial arts school, I was supposed to be a takeover of an old one, but that became hostile and then all of a sudden we got private investigators involved and I'm worried about going to my car at night and getting jumped and there's all these different things that were happening. And then on top of that, I was supposed to get over a quote porn addiction. And it was all about being a sinner and not being good at it. And everything felt so heavy. And just my dad and I used to, when we grew up , we would start talking in the Scottish accent and then we would be talking in the said for a month straight. And my mom would be pissed

(26:30): because she's like, can you just talk normal people for once? And then we would pick an English accent or an Irish one next and we'd go German sometimes. And my dad spoke German, so I lost that one frequently and it was playful. And my dad was really great at just breaking the tension with some kind of weird joke or something else like that. So I grew up watching some humor happen and watching how humor could diffuse tension in a situation. But I also realized that what entertains me, what I spend my life doing is what I'll master. And that day that I had the Superman vision, which if you haven't heard about it briefly, I was in my office in Mace, Arizona. I had been trying to develop superpowers, cheap powers and stuff like the ancient Chinese and stuff since I was young. Jesus was a role model of mine.

(27:26): He walked on water, he healed people. I had pursued gifts of healing and had learned some healing arts and stuff and had started seeing some cool stuff happen. And I was like, yeah, this is going to happen, man. And then I had this vision, it only lasted 30 seconds, but it was me. It wasn't like Jesus or God or . It wasn't any of the beatific visions that adorned the saints of old, it was me as Superman, but not the 1980s Superman with the Smurf blue outfit and Christopher Reeve, it was, it's like the new one, which maybe he's a cool character, but his suit looks like it's been dragged through a mechanic shop. It's like this dark, dingy blue. He looks like he's angsty and has no friends and Batman hates him and all this stuff. And so it was like this miserable superman who could fly across the globe, walk on all the water on the world, shoot lightning and laser beams from his eyes and just emanated rippling waves of misery.

(28:28): And I was like, oh dang, if I am miserable, I'm just going to be super miserable. It doesn't matter how many skills and gifts I have. And so at that point, there was a change in me that said if I only ever have one superpower in the world, it it's gotta be that happiness that I'm just happy that happiness is the superpower that I want. And so everything I did, I don't wanna work out cuz workouts felt like they didn't, they're not something that I grew up doing a lot cuz I was always training in martial arts or something. So I was always busy. So I build my house in places where there's like monkey bars from the ceiling and we have a gym floor padding instead of carpet in one room so people can just roll around and some crash mats on it. And instead of furniture, and we have a trampoline in the backyard and we roll around with the kids and we're trying different tricks and I tickle 'em and I massage 'em and I do all of these different things because I want my life to be filled with play.

(29:29): And because if I'm trying to heal from something, I don't wanna train myself to heal as if it's an emergency because then I only train myself to run off of emergencies. But if all of life is just a playful adventure, then I can treat any situation that way. So I haven't really consciously thought about, oh yeah, well, I want my kids to grow up playing a lot. It's really been for me that I don't even want parenting to be serious. I mean, let's be honest, none of us know what we're doing. , Jasmine and I don't know what we're doing. Nobody knows what they're doing. Really, the people that say they know what they're doing are the ones that have family members that don't want to talk to them because they're stepping outta line. And then we hear behind the gr through the grapevine and behind lock doors, just how hard it was growing up in all these different families and how many families have fallen apart because they don't know how to just play and be at ease in each other's company. And that's the thing that I want everywhere with everyone, is to be at total ease for them to feel like there's no judgment going to come from me and for me to feel likewise and to feel like we can play and laugh and talk about really deep, dark things in their life, and then in the next moment be laughing about a stupid fart joke or something like that. And I've just built my life that way for me because I don't like being restrained. And when things feel heavy, rather they not

(30:51): Be. I've observed that also at the retreats that we have a lot of fun. I mean, we deal with some really significant things, but there's a night where Jasmine comes in and you guys dance and it's really a lot of fun. And for me it feels like it always puts things in perspective. It's like, yes, we can still have fun. Life isn't over and there's still things to enjoy and create. I'm thinking, I was just sitting here thinking there's probably individual things that you'd want each child to know individually, but at the end of the day, if Mr. And Yoshi and Noah and Kimball and Joni and Heliman were all standing in front of you, if you could impart, at the end of the day, this is what I want you to know, this is what I want you to go into the rest of life with. I know this is probably a bigger thing, but what would you say that is just off the cuff for them, what would you want them to know?

(31:53): Wow . Shoot. This is a big question. Yeah, I mean, the only thing that I really have driven myself to do and have driven the people in the retreats to do is ultimately the same thing that I would want my kids to do, which is to learn, to be able to see what is actually happening. And if I could add to that, which is its second thing, so it's kind of cheating, kind of cheating. But the second one came from the first, right, which is learn to manage their own internal state. If they could do those two things, all the rest of it would happen, all the rest of their life. Most of the problems that people run into is because they made an assumption about what's really going on and then treated that assumption as more real than what's actually happening to the point where they will argue as I did that their pain, their trauma, their misery, their depression and all this stuff is a real thing that came from a specific place.

(32:59): Instead of really seeing all of the possibilities about what was going on, that they'll argue that their interpretation of what happened is the whole truth of it and not just one way of looking at the world. All of that has been the reason why I struggled so much. All of that is the reason why if I'm ever frustrated all it's because I have an assumption there. And if I figure if my kids can learn at a young age, and even if it takes 'em till they're 18 or 20 or 25, but if they can walk into the world having developed the ability to not believe their own thoughts and instead to look back at what's really there so that they're taking their cues for life about what's actually happening and not their horror stories about it, then they will have less to deal with one. And the things they are dealing with are only the things that need to be done, and they'll live a life where they're free and are still capable when needed. Well, I just wanna say thanks. It's pretty powerful to watch adults walk in humility and in their own lessons and show let their kids see that. And it's powerful to watch. So thank you. Thanks for letting me be here today and ask the questions and put you on the hot seat.

(34:10): Yeah sometimes the hot seats are interesting. Jasmine, I'm with the hot seat with Jasmine every retreat where they just come in q and a and pepper her with every question they can about our life together and her thoughts on things. And I never know what she's going to say. And sometimes I'm like, well, okay, well this is coming out in the open. All right, let's look at it. But I actually appreciate the chance to be honest, to be transparent, because I feel like more than anything, especially over the last little while, people have put me up on a pedestal. And I think there's some things that I've done really well, and I think there's some things that I'm still trying to figure out. But the last thing I want anybody to feel like is, well, Bob's different. He grew up different and he's got different skills and had different opportunities and this, that and the other. And as a result, I can't do those things. And it's simply not true. I've been through bankruptcy, we've been through living on food stamps, we've been through having really, really good months and a great job. And then having that go away, , we've been through massive financial losses.

(35:12): We've been through kids who've had friends with suicidal ideation and one, a child who's mentioned it a couple of times two children who've mentioned it to me, we've been through injuries, we've been through almost divorce a couple of times, and we've messed all that kind of stuff up. And if you've been through worse in your estimation, that's okay. The last thing that you need to do is sit there and look at your past and go, well, because of my past, I can't future. That's just putting your past in your future. And for a lot of people, the present moment is literally just the place where the future becomes the past. It's this tiny blip of time where the future becomes the past. But in actual reality, there is no such thing as a past or a future. Things did happen. But what is real and what exists right now is neither past nor future stone hinge is not the past.

(36:06): Stone hinge is right now a bunch of rocks sitting there and we tell stories about it, but that's us telling stories in this present moment about it. So the past is literally a verb. You are pasting right in this moment. When you are thinking about the past and telling stories about the past, you are passing, you're taking an action, or you're futuring and you are thinking about the future. And those are present moment activities. The present moment is all that exists, and within that moment, you're pouring your life into past or future or this or that activity. And so then the question becomes, what do you wanna pour your life into? And my hope with this kind of transparency is that people can see that they do really have the option to stop pouring their life into the past and to all the things that they think need to be fixed and go, wow, what is actually happening in this moment? Same thing I would have my kids answer, and where do I want to go from here? Even if everything before now sucked, and I, it tanked and there was no part of it. That's great. Can I quit that and just move forward? And anybody telling you, nope, you're going to be dealing with it forever is somebody who simply doesn't know how to change things. And so hopefully this has been helpful.

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