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, wheelchair 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.
(0:35) All right, welcome back to the alive and free podcast. We're almost done with the book guys. We're on chapter nine. And chapter 10 is a short one. And so maybe next week will be a short one, you'll get 10 minutes, and you'll be like, thank goodness. And so today, we get to talk about the chapter or the adventure called Becoming an experimenters. And Jeff loves this work. I like it I my experience reading it was like, Man, he's really chopping up this word. I wish that because I know you love etymology love, you love great, which is helpful often, but I just dislike, I just want him to tell me what this word means. Like do paragraphs, what's an experience who's been exposed to so I, the reason I went with this, so in Latin, you have the the main verb in the middle of it is the verb to go it so like exit meaning to go out from within. And so you have the x there in the front. And pair means through or thoroughly, right. So paired it would be to go through something or to go through it thoroughly. And then the goose is like the past participle. So like having gone through. And so what comes from having gone through something is like your expiry expecting to us as someone who has what has come from having gone through something, the one that's gone through it. And that's related to the word experience. The EMC is like the German deal. And if you guys didn't want this this week, I know it right. I was hoping that we would dive into the German deal.
(2:04) My secret wish this morning, when I woke up, I was flying to Utah, and I thought javelins. So, meaning the ing so experience is like going through something, that's what experience is, and then explain it to us would be where our word expert comes from. But I wanted to avoid the word expert, because it again, it has a lot of baggage with it. And I don't think like everyone's an expert at their life. They've all been through it successfully, even though some of them would say no, it's not successful, but you have 100% success rate and everything you've been through, you haven't died yet. Although some people might say like, I died once on the table. Okay, fine. And you survived that, too. So congratulations, you still have 100% success, right? So the point is, like I was, again, looking for another word that wouldn't say I am the expert that you need to listen to, but rather, that everyone can become that they can get what comes from going through something and and I wanted to herald that biological, personal physiological experience Trumps just about everything else, you can get the reading about it, that the thinking about it, that the hearing firsthand accounts about it, and all that stuff from the side can be helpful, but the actual experience of a certain feeling or a certain thing that changes the whole game, because then you go oh, I know what he's talking about that beforehand. I thought I knew but I obviously didn't. And so that was my goal for myself was I wanted to experience freedom, I didn't want to know how to get there. And that's what we tried to do at the retreat is like give people an experience of freedom. And so the whole focus was was on that because it's too easy. In this chapter, I talked about tour guides and basically I'm just a tour guide and all the people that I went to were tour guides and I it was too easy for me to mistake the tour guide for the tour I would just like oh I love everything that this author writes and then I would just go and it's that's my favorite author and like this guru was that and this religion was that and I was just the other day called me like autistic in my approach and you guys will hear a podcast on that in a couple of weeks. But
I guess I yet single minded focus that is kind of a quality of an ADHD and autism sit on the kind of the same neuro deviant spectrum, right. Is it deviant? Is it? Yeah, divergent divergent neurodivergent. I was like neuro deviant. I'm like neuro neurodivergent people. Wow.
(4:33) Yeah, I'm not neurodivergent I'm neuro deviant. So but I would I would dive straight into things. And part of the issue that I had run into was that I was constantly sucked in by the the personality and the charisma of the person at the front. And as a result, they would teach great things and I would learn a lot, but I often would miss other things that were not as helpful and I would take those in as well thinking they were my own and then run And the disillusionment later. So yeah, it's interesting. You I forgot reading this chapter that you hadn't gone to the Himalayas yet? No. I was I was like, okay, he's gonna talk about how he did that. This was Sadhguru. And then he like, Mystic mistook the tour guide for the tour and then in the news like, oh, no, at the end, you're like, alright, well, I'm gonna go to the Himalayas. Book. And when you came,
(5:24) yeah, I was really clear within myself that I need to finish writing the book before I go. Because I knew that something. I just had a sense that something was going to happen there. And I didn't want to lose this, the focus of everything I'd learned up to this point, it felt like when I finished I told me this, I was like, the books done, I can die now. And I know that there is something for people to pick up and run with, you know, I know that, like everything I've learned that is like practical, from this scientific standpoint, from the sort of practical, fundamental standpoint is now in print available. And if something does happen, the world will still benefit. It was almost like a last will and testament. And then obviously, the Himalayas was, I've already started writing the sequel, guys. There's a lot that's happened since the end of this book. And I was still like, why went not necessarily as sucked in by the tour guide, but I wasn't aware of all the places that I was still sucked in by it. And so I went thinking, Oh, I'm, I'm gonna go on this other tour, because I still feel like there's something I can get out of this. And then the Himalayas. If you've listened to that episode, welcome to the Himalayas, from a couple months ago, I was back in October or something. Yeah, that was really a rip out from under the rug. And another place where I didn't realize, Wow, I really had bought into more than was actually useful, more than was actually necessary for myself.
(6:42) And this has been a helpful concept for me, I think, just for my own journey, and then also talking to people about this before they come, because a lot of people will have the question of like, am I going to have to follow this exercise routine? The rest of my life? Yeah, in order to do the things I do, and this sort of approach? I feel like it's really freeing, because it's like, no, you the point of this is for, or at least my experience with it has been almost like developing a compass inside myself. That point that now I can like, notice when it's vibrating to mix metaphors, but like, notice, when I'm I like, feel something that's bringing me life, and trust that feeling and dive into that. And it's a lot of the things that I dive into, have very little to do with anything that you've taught me. I mean, some of it is similar, like martial arts and stuff have like, really gotten into Moy Thai, and but some of it, you know, differently mentioned before, like Orthodox Christianity and chanted prayers and things that are maybe similar, but but not anything that you would prescribe to your, you know, to your participants. And, and that really is the point, I think, is to find the things that that bring you life and to be an authority on that yourself. You Right, right. Yeah. You could have almost titled this chapter becoming your own expertise, right? I could, yeah, in a very real way. Except that I just didn't have the font was big.
(8:19) I'm just saying, that's more of the idea. Yeah, it really is. And, you know, to Jeff's point, like the stuff we teach people, like I have a bunch of things that the stuff that I put together and the stuff that he teaches you stuff that I have found enough scientific backing for or personal experience for, with enough people that that your your average citizen will be like, Okay, this is something I can try without a whole lot of like friction, where there's stuff that I've tried stuff that I do that is tremendously profound that I don't actually share with people or haven't yet, just because there's not enough, like public goodwill around it, where it wouldn't be like, I'd be running into too many brick walls with people like no, I don't want to try that. Or that sounds weird, or that sounds something. And usually, it's just something off the beaten path. It's not even anything like out of the ordinary, necessarily, you know, it's just something that's a little off the beaten path. And so in the mean, the secret practices, yeah, indoor discipled secret practices.
(9:17) The way that I've heard you talk about it, too, is building blocks, like here, here's the things and it basically, it's like my body, like this is the building blocks of any sort of experience that I'm going to have. So if I learn how to use my body, then I can have also I can rearrange the building blocks, I can switch them out, yeah, and make my own thing, but if I kind of get a sense of how to manipulate some of these building blocks, then I can build something that looks totally different. And then like any artist or any apprentice, then you would develop your own style and you would you would go out and you would be like No but I like these building blocks and I like these I'd like to paint these things and this is more my interest and he does portraits but I really love landscapes and and they you ended up totally different, but the essential sort of fundamentals are the same. So what I'm trying to do in the retreats and with as much of the stories that is woven in, in the book is give people a place to start, where they, they, especially in the retreats have a deep enough experience of these different areas, how to use your voice and your posture and your breath, I show one way of doing it, but there are obviously many How To Use Your movement and the way that you move, I show several different ways of doing it. But there are a bajillion different movement practices in the world, how to use your breath, and I show a lot of different ways of using breath. And but I use one that is more scientifically, like been more scientifically studied by more people, thanks to Wim Hof, you know, pioneering stuff. And then we're using darkness and we're using ice baths. And we're using a lot of really intentional things stacked in a certain way so that people can have a deep enough experience of all of them, and then pieced together very consciously so that they build on each other so that at the other end of it, there is this understanding within themselves that maybe they don't, there's one of those that they're like, I don't really like that one or this one didn't. But they started to see within themselves. Maybe it's not that type of practice is interesting to me, but it opened up a feeling and that that's what I need to pay attention to. And I can find that feeling in these other ways as well. That's what I really want for people is because I got sucked into and I'm very candid there in the book, like I got sucked into a lot of different religious, pseudo religious and just like flat out like coaching stuff. Those of you who don't know like the online marketing world, they study how to what they say ethically build a cult, they study cult leaders, and they study the like the initial emails you get, they call them the your indoctrination sequence, which I've from the beginning have found utterly atrocious, like I don't want to indoctrinate people. I want to like offer them an experience, and allow them to like reflect on it and see if it was useful, which John Dewey, he never actually said this, I found out later. But he's had he said enough similar things that he's been often quoted as saying man doesn't learn by experience, he learned by reflecting on experience. And that's what I ran into in graduate school. And so from there, I realized that for myself, I needed not just to have experiences, but to build into those experiences, ways of reflecting back on them, so that the learning within them could be could really land and could be stuck. And that's, that's what I've tried to build for other people. How can I create such a powerful experience in the body that it shakes the mind loose when it reflects on it and makes the mind go? Oh, okay, we're going to operate a little bit differently now, and kind of resets the system. And, and so everything that we're doing is around, I mean it every retreat, I'm like, I'm not any different than you guys, I don't have any more guarantees about life than you guys. I don't know what's coming tomorrow. All I know is that these things have helped a ton. And, you know, within a very short amount of time. Anytime, if I have some negative thing come up in my life that I'm still judging is a problem out of habit. That doesn't take long, and then I did just dissipates, it goes away, because my body has learned a new muscle memory, and is way less tolerant of hanging on to negativity. And that's just because I messed around with the building blocks,
(13:16) it seems like an advantage to thinking this way with the experience whose thing is like, so if it's the thing that you get from going through something, then it doesn't become so much about having some authority or being some impressive guy. It's more about just like doing stuff, like practices, rituals, and that like, I remember one time after you did stick work with me. I was like, I think I told you like Thank you. I really am grateful for your skill. And you were kind of like, I don't feel like or you don't feel like that. That skilled or like when people call you like a genius. I'm like, but But what I maybe I reset it was like, Well, I'm thankful for your practice. Like, I'm thankful that that you have have gone through all these things to such an extent that now you have the things that you have got from going through them. Yeah. And then I can do that too. And I and I see that with martial arts really clearly like with Muay Thai and stuff with sparring and just like, I am really different now than a year ago when I started Muay Thai, and it's just it's not because I'm some, you know, done some magical thing or whatever. I just have been doing these practices. And it's like, yeah, it's helpful. Yeah.
(14:31) And I think anybody listening like or reading the book, you're not going to do all the things that I've done. And I'm that's not an invitation like, what I'm offering for people is a distilled challenge is this this is not an invitation. It's a challenge. You're not going to be able to do all the stuff that I've done. I had a flashback to the Ninja Turtles movie. The second one when shredder comes out of the out of the garbage dump that he'd been crushed in and the new guy was like who challenges me and you Redditors like, I jotted shadow. Sorry, you probably didn't know I've never seen Ninja Turtles nerd. 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 the freedom specialists.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.
(15:43) But what it is, like, nobody's gonna live my life. So you'll never have what I have by going through it. But you don't need what I have by going through it you need or maybe you don't need it, but you will get what you have by going through it. And that's what's critical, which is why so much of what we're doing is focused on, I need to take you through an experience like with Lee, when you came to your retreat, it was I put I just put you through things. And some of those experiences were not what everybody else at the retreat was having. Because I was like, okay, he's in a spot. And I got to put him through something that's going to help him connect the dots on more than a mental level. Right. And that's where we were throwing stumps in the backyard. Right. Talk to me about experience over thinking, Man, I mean, I know, I'm probably the only one in this broadcast that has ever gotten trapped in their own thoughts. Yeah, it's probably just really unique to me, you know? Jeff, and I were just talking about this as well that in the Christian world, there's this like temptation to read the latest thing and the latest book and have this knowledge and have this understanding. And it was all like, in my head, you know, the self help books or, or it was all about challenging my thinking it wasn't teaching me anything about actually challenging the way I was feeling.
(17:07) Yeah. And I would say that that goes beyond the Christian world. I mean, right, right, right. In business circles and careers, everybody who's trying to get ahead, who's trying to do it, right, or the ideal life, they're in that space where you got to consume this many podcasts and read all these books, and you got to have the Fitbit and the O ring. And the all this stuff that's like tracking your sleep quality. And yeah, in the context, where I was talking to Jeff about was just like that knowledge doesn't produce change. You know, it doesn't, it didn't make me a better Christian to have that knowledge. Joe Dispenza actually talks about it as like, an enemy to change. I saw a podcast with him with Tom bill you once and he was like, the problem with like, Aha moments that you get from knowledge is that you've read the thing, and your body has this positive experience, like it's already done it. And so then like, you don't actually just get up and do the action by having the aha moments and the big takeaways and the golden things that everybody wants you to have from the meetings like, what was your aha moment? Oh, this, I this great insight. And insight is not unless you're talking Buddhist insight, they have a different meaning for it, like direct perception of the truth of reality that they're talking about inside that way. But if you're talking about insight, like, Oh, I just had this new way of looking at things that actually is an enemy to real change. Because you're it tricks your body into thinking it's already changed when nothing has actually happened.
(18:26) Yeah, I mean, as as well as that process of actually experiencing something. And this goes all the way back to the first chapter is that that I was tired of trying things. I was tired of another leader, another something that's just going to fail, you know, and so I'm so grateful that I actually came to the retreat, because it was, you know, we're still doing Coronavirus, still all that was going on. I was traveling and all these things were were really good excuses for me not to be there. But that I never would have known I never would have experienced something outside of my head. But actually experience that I had the ability to change things. Yeah. That like that, for me has been the biggest game changer is when I have an experience that doesn't fit inside my worldview. And I am in it long enough that my worldview has to change to accommodate it, as opposed to I can wrangle my worldview to fit around it, you know, that kind of depth of experience. That's what really made the difference for me in so many different ways. And people find it in a lot of different ways. It's not it's not just I can't tell you the number of people that have had a powerful experience religiously or with Jesus that it changed their life. And it was a big enough experience at the right time in the right circumstances that it forced their worldview to change or people who got in terminally ill and an illness held in that experience for long enough force them to do things I remember when I tour like him In my left knee or my meniscus, or whatever it is that is injured because I've never actually had it scanned. I think it's my meniscus. But I was so identified with being an athletic martial artist that I had to I got confronted with like, what if the rest of my life I can't do this, or one time I went blind for like four hours, my eyes just stopped working, or my brain stopped working or something. I had just overdone it in dance practices, my assumption, but I was an artist, and I was like, how am I going to paint? How am I going to make artwork? If I can't even see, like, I can mix colors, I don't want to wear a calendar, that one was the canvases. I'll paint my roommates clothing, and then I'll lose all my relationships. And it was inexperienced long enough that that jarred loose my secure ideas about my like, Oh, I know the way the world works, and I know who I am. And that started to shift my priorities.
(21:00) Yeah, I'm thinking back to the stub experience that you refer to. And at one point, you asked me, Do you want to stop? And I was like, I don't know, can I? I didn't know that. I could. I just didn't know until someone could show up. Show me. And you're in that part that, that I could be that person? Yeah. And if you hadn't been physically enacting the thing that was going in, and you if we had just been having conversation, right? Well, you're like, I'm really, really angry. And this is happening. And I go, where are you? Do you want to stop? Would that have landed? No, not at all? No. I was thinking today to like, it's not mean normally to be in the center of attention. And the fact that that was happening where all those people were watching, it was kind of a miracle. Like that. Because I think there was a part of me that would have just walked away. But it was helpful to have a tour guide, you know, and that part of my experience, and it's been more helpful to become my own tour guide. Yeah, with the tools.
(22:04) I do think that that is an important point two, I mean, I needed tour guides, right? Like, maybe I could have figured stuff out on my own, but it definitely accelerated or shortcut the process. And there are there is value for a tour guide. They know the terrain of land that you've never been on, they know the the great sights and the and the best ways to go or the plate when there's no traffic or, you know, time of day, they know all that stuff. And so the reason you hire a tour guide is so that you can focus on the experience. And it's only getting confused and thinking the tour guides the answer, that's the issue. But I benefited my entire life from tour guides, my parents were tour guides, they were showing me the ropes. If I had been Mowgli, that would have been a very different experience. And yet, animals teach their children's stuff, there are animals that teach their children, like there are gorillas, we, in the book on parasites that I did, I just recently read their gorillas that when they're ill, they like medicate themselves with a certain type of plant, but only when they are feeling ill when they have diarrhea or something like that. And sometimes the young girls want to go up and like check it out. Or maybe they're chimpanzees or something. And the moms will like herd them away and stomp on the food to make it very clear. No, no, no, that's not, that's not a tour you want to go. Right. And so like, This is it. Like we benefit from parents as tour guides, we benefit from teachers as tour guides, and we and definitely is most valuable to me in life and to other people in life. These tour guides that I've found were kind of essential ways they kind of guided me along the path. And I think the key was that I had to learn through experience was that like, they don't know everything. And nobody does. Like nobody really knows everything. And they're just people. And that awareness was not something I had. And so now I can use the tour guides much more consciously, and with much more awareness because there's a recognition, they're just people too, and they're figuring out their life. And that's not that's not my life. And so I gotta use them differently.
(24:08) That's sometimes a really hard process and even your story in this chapter about St. Nicholas. And as a boy, discovering what had happened, I just like I felt for you, you know, like, but I've also had those experiences with tour guides. Yeah, you know, like, there's a certain amount of disappointment when you realize that they're flawed and human and, and you and I have had this discussion recently. It's been something that's been on my mind a lot. Like, for a long time, I didn't want people to think that I didn't have the answer, because then oh, well then I wouldn't be able to put food on the table or whatever else it was. And yet, all along the way. I've been trying to show people I'm just a human being. That's what makes this accessible to you. And along the way, there's been this question in my mind like, Well, what happens when they finally realize that I'm a human being, you know, instead of them going like, Yeah, I know you're human, but really, you're you're The top of the food chain. And then when they suddenly realize like, wait is again, the dude goes to the bathroom. He like, sometimes has really sloppy manners or, you know, makes a joke that I don't like or something like that. And when it sort of sort of dawns on them, hey, look, this guy's human too, like that, that has been a question on my mind. And one that I've been trying to create in a circumstance so that it's it's smooth transition to where they can be like, Oh, I don't have to hate him. Because he, he, you know, somehow pulled the wool over my eyes, because I haven't been trained to do that at all. But but then they realize, oh, what he's been saying the whole time. It's true. He really is just another guy. And I've tried to make that as smooth a transition as possible. Do you want to speak to that at all for yourself?
(25:46) No, just that. I appreciate that about you. Because this is not the first time that I've heard you say that. I mean, there's been multiple times through multiple retreat spaces, and even podcasts where they were you have encouraged all of us to take our journey. Yeah, to use you to use what you've learned to take that knowledge to take those tools. And to take her journey. Yeah, I don't know. I mean, when I found out you into the bathroom, I was pretty mad. That's because you were in line first and I butted in line. You didn't go to the bathroom. That's it, I quit, quit. So the, the the point here is like with this chapter, really, and with everything that I'm trying to offer people, it's like you have a place that you're trying to go in your life, there might not be a tour guide that can take you all those places, you're gonna have to be your own at some point. At some point, it's all on you. But there may be some people out there that seem like they've got some things figured out, run with it, learn from them. Just never lose the fact that it's your own experience that you're you become the experiment, the experimenters, you go through it. And it's your own experience that ultimately be will be the grist for the mill and the building blocks out of which you get to make your life out of and as long as you can own that then the tour guides become resources instead of stumbling blocks.
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