We are not our feelings. We are not our emotions. And yes, we have the power to control them. With a snap of our fingers.
This is one of the little gems of knowledge I learned at the “Unleash the Power Within” or UPW for short. This is a Tony Robbins event, the Father of Life Coaching and strategist, who helps us make life more fulfilling, more passionate, more alive and purposeful. Tony and his team offered an amazing experience at this event that 11,000 people attended. I must say, Tony is not for everyone. Tony is for the special few that are truly hungry, hungry for more in life; more life, more passion, more fulfilment, more fun, more joy, more excitement and adventure in life. You can see the speaking and leadership skills he owns. When he walks into the room people are hanging from his mouth. And for some, his event might be a bit culty-like but there’s a reason for engaging body, voice and playing full out. When the whole body-mind-spirit connection participates, our experiences can be better imprinted into our amygdala, the memory bank of our brains, so that you can relive the moment even days, months and years after it.
I know I will never forget the “Firewalk”. Yeap, you read it right. I’m a fucking firewalker and I freakin’ rock. No idea what I’m talking about? Well, you know those African or Amazonian tribes that like to walk on burnt coals? Well. Tony and his team arranged 30 of those firewalks. This was Day 1 of the UPW! You’re probably thinking “WTF?!” Trust me, I was thinking the same. I had no clue what I was getting myself into… I had no idea there was such a thing at the event. So you can imagine how struck I was when Tony started talking about it on Day 1. But I guess if I knew in advance, I would have hesitated to book such an expensive event; they don’t come cheap. We had all woken up early in the morning to attend the event and there were no breaks; I was hanging from Tony’s words, his stories were truly captivating. Tony has been doing what he’s doing for the past 30 years, the ease and energy he has on stage are absolutely amazing. What I didn’t know about him was that he has acromegaly. This is a tumour in his brain excreting Growth Hormone, GH for short, that’s what makes him a 21st century giant. Now, he could’ve easily surrendered to the tumour and accept treatment or a bad prognosis. He chose however to turn a what other people might think of a negative situation into something that has a positive outcome for himself, the people he loves and the whole world. How? By changing his blueprint, the beliefs and values that weren’t serving him at the time to deal with this monster of a diagnosis, and turned all of his energy and focus into his personal development, modelling other experts, offering knowledge and experiences to the world, and following his philanthropic dreams of feeding children and families that need it.
Here’s how Day 1 goes: after hours and hours with no food, no water and no mental break I was simply exhausted. And then the talk about the firewalk came up. I was like “Wait, what?! What’s that?”
I hear Tony then say: “In a few moments, you will be walking on coals burning up to 10,000 degrees. Now I need to get you mentally ready because if you panic on the firewalk you are screwed. I’ve been doing this firewalk for 30 years. You will probably suffer some blisters, but bear in mind 3 people have died in the past 30 years. This may lead to burns, serious injuries, toxic shock and even death. You signed the disclaimer. Remember that piece of paper earlier this morning? Now, injuries happen when you aren’t in state. That’s why I need to teach you how to get and stay in state. And by the way if you get a blister, don’t worry… We’ll show you an acupuncture point to relieve the pain.”
Next thing you know, Tony says “It’s time: Take your shoes and socks, leave your belongings here, security will be in the building.” 11000 people obey and do as so. We are all now walking, just like my sister described it after she saw the vid, like sheep to be killed, towards 30 different paths of coals. Each one of us had a partner, mine was Zoltan, a out of the box Hungarian. We kept each other accountable and kept each other motivated to just go for it. He did an amazing job because midway I was freaking doubting myself and I could barely feel my legs! He was like “You do this, Sabrina! It’s in you! Yes! Yes! Yes!”, he repeated at times clapping and keeping my spirits up and motivated even though I could barely feel my feet. After walking, what seemed to be an endless stroll, stepping on a piece of grass, means that you’re it! Time to walk on fire, baby! The crew member, god bless her soul, said: “Make your move, look up, and go!”. I could hear people in the background cheering “Yes, yes, yes” nonstop. I was drawn in and with each step I took, I repeated “Yes, Yes, Yes,” each time louder than them. Two sets of arms grabbed me, a voice said: “Wipe your feet, you did it!”. It took me a while to realise what was going on, my reaction time felt diminished. Once I stepped on real ground and felt the humidity on my legs from the nearby waterhoses, I couldn’t help but scream my fucking lungs out!!! I’d done it! I made it! I never thought I could! And even while I’m writing about the event, a month later, I can’t help it but have ears in my eyes because of the joy, pride and emotional strength I owe. That’s all me baby! I freakin’ rock! The firewalk has been a new beginning for me. And I know, every single time, I come across the feeling of fear, I need to lean in. Now, I know it’s all in my head, it’s all excuses, I can’t help myself and feel like a small child wanting to try every exciting adventure, sport and experience out there as long as it excites me. I got so inspired by the experience.
Day 2 was even scarier than that, dealing with limiting beliefs and going to the deepest fears of you emotional capacity. Visualising this negative torn on myself made me realise that whatever negative is going through my mind can be there, for a limited amount of time only because it’s not serving me. Now I’m starting a “Dare your Courage” Bucket. I’ve always wanted to write extreme things down but even for that I never had the courage to do. Trust me, this will work. I need to experience mind-blowing events. My greatest fear is dying alone with minimal memory capacity of experiences and having had no impact on the world. Chasing dares and experiences that activate my fear/stress responses will help me decrease the resistance I have to them and will give me more joy, more memories, more worthy stories to share. And maybe just telling these stories to my great grandchildren might end up being my only legacy.
From a coaching point of view, getting into state was a combination of NLP and visualisation techniques as well as using incantations. In the beginning it takes time because NLP techniques and mental conditioning requires later constant repetition and serious priming. Otherwise, it’s just words that come out of your mouth, with no emotional or physical engagement. And both are a must. The mental conditioning with mindfulness, meditations, visualisations and incantations, jumping and dancing made me realise the amazing energy and hunger I still have burning inside my soul.
Tony Robbins & Team THANK YOU!
Now Day 3 was practically focused on selling and the topic of health. I must say, just as I was a bit pissed about the continuous selling that happened throughout the event but especially during Day 3, so were others. Tony has to eat too people, I just wish they hadn’t done it. Most of us are already fans of Tony and we’ll buy because we love the guy, his brand and the care he shares. I wish he and his team realise that and decrease the annoying selling that was going on, too outdated guys; I’m a bit disappointed.
As for the health part of Day 3, and even though I’m a doctor, it was still eye-opening! And the cherry on the top: dancing all night long to Will.i.am.’s songs and remixes. Who would’ve known that after such an intense day, I still had more energy in me? I surprised myself, yet again!
I can’t wait to learn and experience even more, keep raising my standards, taking care of myself and my loved ones, exploring places to live in and people to create lasting connections with! Fiji, I’ll see you soon 🙂
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