Ever wonder where to spot the biggest celebrities and athletes in New York City? Look no further. Join us this week as we sit down with Brian Packin, owner of Ascent Lounge / 48 Lounge and talk about nightlife in the Big Apple and what Derek Jeter is really like.
Author: Aubrey Huff
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Join us the week for an epic conversation with MLB legend, Will Clark. Hear his story about owning Nolan Ryan, and where he gets his red ass attitude.
This week Huff and The Hammer discuss the dangers of social media for professional athletes and the inevitable fallout of posting dumb shit.
In this episode, Huff and The Hammer are joined by Adam Jones of the Arizona Diamondbacks. They breakdown baseball analytic geeks, bat flipping and what really makes a championship team.
Aubrey Huff Self Help anxiety, aubrey huff, aubrey huff off the cuff, baseball, depression, happiness, inspiration, inspirational speaker, inspirational speaking, mark manson, mlb, motivation, motivational speaker, motivational speaking, peace, personal development, self love, self-help, tony robbins 0
Have you ever taken a stroll down the personal development section of local Barnes and Noble? The amount of bullshit out there is overwhelming. So many books, so many contradictions. “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson is by far and away my favorite read. It basically shits on the self-help industry in a hilarious, refreshing, brilliant take. If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest you read it immediately.
I have also read books I don’t want to mention because I don’t want to give them any credit. Books from people I’ve never heard of.
Why would anyone read shit from people that haven’t accomplished anything in life? It’s as bad as hiring the fattest personal trainer at the gym to whip you into shape.
Listen, I’ve never claimed to be book smart, but I do possess a shit ton of street smarts and common sense. I love to communicate with people in a transparent, authentic, raw, and vulnerable way…and in the spirit of being transparent, I myself have been caught up in the trap of becoming a personal development junkie.
When I retired from baseball I had some serious identity issues and had no clue what to do with the rest of my life. I had everything I had ever wanted but was having daily panic attacks, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
Something had to give.
I began reading personal development books. I have probably read over 100 different personal-development books. While working out, I listened to motivational speeches and even signed up to take a class to be a life coach. Ironically enough while taking that class I was having full-blown panic attacks during group exercises. I wasted 5 years of my life reading self-help material while still waking up every day feeling unmotivated, confused, depressed, anxious and passionless. I became a self-help junkie and it was getting me nowhere.
I know many of you are thinking: Aubrey didn’t you just write a blog about how transformational the Tony Robbins event was?
Yes I did… in fact it was a very powerful, energetic, life-transforming event.
Because I was around 15,000 screaming people who were jumping up and down to loud music for four days straight. That kind of immersion will get anyone in a good mood for a couple of weeks.
I was so pumped from that event that I wanted more. I decided to sign up for another personal development course two weeks later in San Diego. The minute I walked through the door of that building I instantly felt sad and depressed, essentially wiping out any positivity gained from the Unleash the Power Within event. The course was to be held from 9 am to 10 pm Friday through Sunday. I took my seat and tried to lock-in, but my brain just didn’t engage. The lady leading the seminar sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher… WAAAAA WAAAA WA WA WA. I literally fell asleep twice within the first six hours. At 3 PM there was a break and I made my escape; essentially having wasted hundreds of dollars. I was actually pissed at myself for signing up.
Once I got to my truck I told myself I didn’t need this shit anymore and that I was enough! My positive mindset returned and I felt just like I did before I walked into that seminar.
Why did I feel so depressed walking into that seminar?
I believe it was because prior to entering that building, I was in a positive, confident, loving, free and beautiful mental state. In my mind walking into another personal development course told my positive mind, “I’m at another personal development course? Well shit, there must be something wrong with me!” It was in that moment when I remembered something Tony Robbins had said that hit me like a ton of bricks.
I’m not here to fix you. There is nothing wrong with you.
And there wasn’t…and there never has been. I realized I’ve always been fucking amazing. I just forgot that somewhere along my journey.
Guess what? You are fucking amazing too just the way you are!
I truly believe if you feed your brain with all this motivational be-your-best-self-and-feel-positive-everyday bullshit you are setting yourself up for failure. The truth is life isn’t always positive and you’ll be handed a shit sandwich from time to time. When that happens the self-help stuff you have been taught is tricking your mind into believing something it isn’t really feeling. I’ve come to realize there is no such thing as feeling positive and happy all the time. Sometimes life can suck donkey dick. It is imperative that you allow yourself the freedom to feel that pain.
The truth is the self-help industry wants to keep you depressed and sad..feeling like you aren’t living the life of your dreams.
My guess is it’s because it’s good for business.
In a 2016 article done by Market Research “The U.S. self-improvement market was worth $9.9 billion in 2016. It is forecasted to post 5.6% average yearly gains from 2016 to 2022, when the market should be worth $13.2 billion.”
It’s pretty obvious to me the self-help community, life coaches, seminars, authors, and motivational speakers want you to be fucked up so they can make a living.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for going to an event or two in your life to get yourself out of a dark season, but when you make this kind of work your life it steals your joy and passion. It makes you come off as fake. I’m a huge believer in chasing your dreams and becoming the best version of you. Yet when you are always talking about positive shit with no action, you are setting yourself up to be a victim. Action is key. Motivational thinking can only take you so far. You have to do the work. The problem with self-help people is that they are about personal development but forget the one big part of that…the actual actionable development part.
People who post encouraging bullshit on social media are the ones who haven’t accomplished anything in life and who themselves secretly live a miserable one.
The truth is you’re already enough and you don’t need some asshole telling you how you should feel, what you should do, or how to live your life. I promise you, you’ll be free and happy once you are comfortable being who you are and not always trying to chase this magical fairy tale, rainbow unicorn life. Look around you, you live in America…and my guess is you have a roof over your head and a car to drive. No matter how much you make annually you are already in the top 5% of earners on the planet. You have a lot to be thankful for. Remember you have already won…you’re here on this planet.
Did you know it takes only one sperm cell to fertilize a woman’s egg. But there’s stiff competition for that honor. In fact, the average ejaculate contains 200 million sperm. You’ve already won the lottery of life.
You didn’t need any personal development coach to convince you of that.
Aubrey Huff Family Matters aubrey huff, authentic, authenticity, baseball, being present, blog, blogger, children, dad, dads, development, divorce, father, fatherhood, fathers, growth, heart, kids, kindness, love, mindfulness, mlb, off the cuff, parent, parenting, parents, personal development, present, present moment, press, reality, retirement, san francisco giants, self-help, sf giants, single dad, single father, social media, stay present, vulnerability, vulnerable 1
When I was a kid I can’t recall many days where I didn’t jump out of bed excited for the infinite number of magical possibilities that awaited me.
I loved life.
I loved my family.
I loved my God, and more importantly I loved myself.
I was free, living in the present moment, on a second by second basis, never giving in to the guilt or regrets of the past…and not worrying about the future. I was simply joyful and at peace in the moment.
How many of you can relate to this feeling as a child?
I have another question…What the fuck happened to us?
As I attempt to parent my two boys in the best way I know how, I often think there has to be something said about the lessons they are teaching me. I watch them and sometimes find myself oozing with jealousy because they are so lighthearted, free, playful, imaginative, and liberated from real responsibility. They have not yet fallen victim to the world and its’ conditioning.
Jesus said in Matthew 18:3
“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Kids don’t live in their heads. They live in their hearts and are openly living in the present moment.
And Snap! Just like that…the innocence is lost.
We begin to care about appearances, people’s perception of us, our personalities, who we associate with, and what we believe. We begin to worry about academics and institutions that tell us we aren’t good enough if we don’t meet “X”, “Y”, and “Z” standards.
We are then told we need to go to college, get a job, get married and have two and a half children in order to be happy. We forget along the way to have fun, pause and enjoy daily life. So we stress about the future.
The media feeds us with an ideal that is almost impossible to obtain. Air brushed models and muscle bound men whom if you saw in real life, with zero make up on, would be impossible to recognize…yet we still starve ourselves and spend countless hours in the gym just to feel beautiful. The unimaginable hours spent on social media posting the perfect selfie with the perfect hashtag and the perfect filter. It’s all a façade to get more followers and feel appreciated for a millisecond to mask the fact that we have no “real friends” that connect us to true happiness.
Actors, entertainers and twenty one year old tech millionaires have taken over societal ideals. The market is flooded with media that chronicles all the impossible vacations they take with trophy friends and lovers. Luxuries most of us won’t see in two lifetimes. We watch CNN or Fox and watch them divide us nightly as they try and convince us that their news is the truth, making us fight, argue, and loose friendships over fucking political beliefs.
I personally fell for this bullshit for years.
We are told that if we aren’t millionaires, live in a big house, and drive a Lamborghini Diablo we are failures. It is really a mystery that the self-help industry is a billion dollar business? We are being pulled 9,000 different ways in today’s society and it’s fucking exhausting. We should start living the way we feel is right in our hearts. We have all been living a giant lie, losing that sense of wonder and excitement we once had as kids.
And I’m guilty as charged.
I have been on quite a personal development journey in the last year and a half since my divorce. Needless to say it’s been eye opening. I have gone to places deep in my mind, heart, and soul trying desperately to fall in love with myself all over again. It’s been a difficult, painful and mentally exhausting process…but a beautiful one.
It’s ironic that in the midst of our greatest pain can come some of our biggest growth. My divorce made me take a step back and revaluate who I really am as a man. For the longest time I lived in my head secretly struggling with worry, doubt, depression, anxiety, fear, guilt, and resentment from the choices I had made in my past, and the current reality I had found myself in. For years when I played baseball I was secretly miserable and I had no idea why. I numbed that pain with booze and Adderall all the while wearing my fake masculine mask.
As men you know what I’m talking about…that fake confidence we put on daily. I know for me, as an athlete, I was trained to not show any emotion, or fear on the field. To be a warrior. I bottled up any emotion, hurt, doubt, insecurity, worry and fear deep into my mind forever. I shoved it so far down for so long that it became a part of my reality, my subconscious.
How many of you have done this and don’t even realize it?
Within this last year I realized I needed to begin living more authentically and with my whole heart.
This is what I believe I have been doing with my blogs. I have begun to speak more vulnerably about my past struggles, anxiety, depression, and drug addiction.
…and guess what?
It has inspired people that may be going through the same struggles to open up and talk about their issues. It has freed them by giving them hope.
My reward for being vulnerable and honest…freedom.
How do we achieve freedom?
Below I have listed steps that opened me up to a new level of childlike joy, passion, freedom, and excitement for life.
1. Be Vulnerable: This is no doubt the most important step. Believe me men I know you cringe when you read this, but there is no negotiating here. This is an absolute must. When you are being vulnerable to people and especially the ones you love, you’ll be amazed at the junk you are able to release on a daily basis.
2. Be Authentic: In short be yourself. If you are a person who is one personality for one group of friends and a whole different one for another group then you are cheating yourself. I used to do this. I would be the meek and mild Christian guy who didn’t curse or drink in front of Christian people. Then be party douche bag drug guy with my party buddies.
3. Don’t be a hypocrite: Don’t say one thing and do another. Don’t “talk the talk” if you aren’t willing to “walk the walk.”
4. Don’t Judge: I lived much of my life in this area. The minute I would meet someone I would judge them. The way they dressed, the way they looked, acted, what they said. I judged them based on their political beliefs, and even their sexual orientation. I realized in this last couple of years we all have our fucked up issues and all have our own unique journeys.
5. Be Kind: You never know the deep dark pain someone may be going through. Who knows, maybe your kind words or actions will be exactly what they needed to completely change their perspective on life.
I write this blog passionately because I think in a world full of self-help and personal development this is the key to all our happiness and freedom. It’s time you live in your heart, and not in your head. Start being you…authentic, completely vulnerable and transparent.
When I got traded to the Detroit Tigers about a month after I was introduced to Adderall, my downward spiral to rock bottom was in motion.
Addies are an amazing high… one I couldn’t believe I had ever lived without. If my transparency can save one life from falling into the abyss of addiction, then the embarrassment of my tales will be well worth it.
It was Monday August 17, 2009, in Baltimore, and about a month after I swallowed my first Adderall. At this point I was perfectly addicted. I woke up once again beyond depressed yet slightly hopeful knowing I was about to head to Camden Yards and pop my 20 milligram partner in crime. I slowly dragged myself down the stairs of our quaint, four story town home. My wife had been up since 6:00 am taking care of my one year old baby boy and in no mood for my bullshit. I decided to hop on my bike and ride the two miles through the city to the clubhouse where I could eagerly await the coming high.
When I walked into the locker room I spotted our manager Dave Trembley sitting in my locker chair.
“Follow me Huffy,” he said.
I thought, “Oh fuck what did I do this time?”
He swung his office door open and I spotted Andy MacPhail the GM of the Orioles sitting in a chair. I knew immediately that I had been traded.
The question was…where?
When Andy told me Detroit I was a bit disappointed as I wasn’t too fond of the city. At least the Tigers were in a playoff hunt. One that I had yet to be a part of during my 9 year career.
It’s always an exciting but nervous time arriving for your first day on a new team not knowing what to expect. I decided to kill my nervousness by popping my invincibility pill in the cab on the way to Tigers stadium from the airport. By the time I arrived and hit the clubhouse the high was at full tilt and I felt like I was already the best thing the Tigers had ever invested in.
Keep in mind this was a team that had Miguel Cabrera on it.
After all the pleasantries with my new teammates I was called into Jim Leyland’s office, the manager of the Tigers. Jim was in his 23rd season as a big league manager. A three time MLB manager of the year, and a World Champion Skipper with the 1997 Florida Marlins.
When I walked into the office Jim was pulling down a cig, and since my high was hitting really hard, I felt like lightin’ up myself.
I called out, “Hey skipper, mind if I light up as well?” He laughed, and in his deep, raspy, I’ve been smoking since I was in diapers voice said, “Absolutely! You’re my kind of player!”
I thought for sure I’d fit right in. I asked him what he expected my role on the team to be and he said, “I see you hitting fifth behind Cabrera every day, definitely playing some first, designated hitter, and some outfield. Regardless, you’ll play every day.”
I walked out of his office thrilled to be playing every day and hitting in the middle of a lineup expected to go deep into the playoffs.
My first game as a Tiger I did hit 5th as the D.H. We were facing the Seattle Mariners and staring down Felix Hernandez on the mound…arguably one of baseball’s most dominating right handed pitchers. I was undaunted as the Adderall did its little dance in my head. We won the game 5-3 and I finished a modest 1 for 4 for the game.
Two games later we faced Mariner left-handed pitcher Ryan Rowland Smith. To my surprise, when I checked the lineup, I was on the bench. I didn’t read much into it as I must have struggled in the past off of Ryan.
The very next game we were playing the Oakland A’s and once again I was on the bench as left handed pitcher Gio Gonzolez toed the rubber. At this point I was beginning to get pissed and confused. Just three days ago Jim had told me I was going to play every day. My teammates began asking me what I did to piss off the manager. I did the only logical thing I could think of to cure my embarrassment.
I started upping my dosage of Adderall from 20 to 30 milligrams.
I had been an everyday player my whole life and now it looked like I was permanently etched into the dreaded “platoon player” role.
As the days and weeks went on my confusion and bitterness grew. When I saw my name on the bench once again in Anaheim going up against Joe Saunders (whom I saw the ball well off of in my career) I knew it was time to chat with Jim.
I headed full steam into Leyland’s office clearly perturbed.
“Can we chat Skip?”
The look he gave me had every indication this was going to be awkward.
“Jim, what the fuck is going on? I thought you said I’d be playing every day?”
He forcefully responded, “I don’t remember saying that.”
I was dumbfounded. He was lying or losing his memory in his old age. We went back and forth as the conversation ended up going nowhere. I walked out of his office even more pissed and confused than when I walked in.
Why the hell was I traded here in the first place?
You can guess how the rest of that season went for me. The Tigers had spent 146 days in first place that season. But the magic wouldn’t last. The Minnesota Twins went on an absolute tear the final two weeks of the season and tied us on the last day for the division. It would come down to a one game, winner take all, contest in Minnesota. The winner would move on to the playoffs, and the loser would go home.
We landed in Minnesota the night before the big game and as we boarded the bus for the hotel we were told that the Twins would be starting a right handed pitcher, Scott Baker. I don’t think I slept the whole night I was so excited. After all I only played against right handed pitching. I was already picturing myself hitting a game winning homer to send the Tigers to the playoffs. I would forever be remembered in Tigers lore. It was my destiny. I had waited my whole life to play in a game of this magnitude.
I was one of the first players to race to the lineup card when I arrived in the visiting clubhouse. I looked at the middle of the lineup where my name would have normally been.
I looked lower, and lower… nothing.
I finally glanced at the bench players and there was my name, like a bright neon fucking light, HUFF.
Now I have been kicked in the dick before, quite literally, but this felt negligent. I was absolutely sick with anger. I stormed to my locker fucking hot, popped open my pill jar and threw down two 20 milligram pills. I had never taken 40 milligrams at one time before.
I didn’t give a shit, I wanted to escape the reality of my situation.
I sat in my locker not engaging anyone. I didn’t move. I sat there frozen until it was time for batting practice. It took everything I had to get suited up and go take BP with my teammates.
Nobody said a word to me that day. The expression on my face said it all. I was walking around pissed off, red faced, nostrils flared, mouth closed tight, and eyebrows pointed strait down. Not necessarily the attitude you would want to see from a player before a game of this magnitude.
The Adderall came into full bloom just in time for the first pitch. My rage lurked just beneath the surface, ready to blow at any minute. The atmosphere was electric in the Metro dome with 54,088 fans. Absolutely deafening! I was enraged I was missing out on such a big game. I sat at the end of the bench all game, arms crossed. I know this may sound fucking bilious but it’s the truth. As soon as I saw my name on the bench that day, I found myself secretly hoping we would lose just so Jim Leyland wouldn’t get the credit.
Looking back on it now, I realized how fucking childish this all sounds. I also now realize that Jim was no doubt doing what he felt was right for the team. I couldn’t have made his job any easier being the baby I was. But the Adderall had taken me over, giving me nothing but selfish thoughts.
I hate to admit this but as much as I wanted to play, Jim made the right call. The bench was where I belonged. Adderall threw any rationale I had out the window. My attitude was embarrassing and I still feel ashamed because of it.
The game went into extra innings. It was a fucking nail biter. Bottom of the 12th at five to five. The tension in the stadium was at a tipping point. Any pitch could be the final nail in the coffin. The Twins had one out…runners at first and second.
Alexi Casilla stepped up to the plate.
And just like that, after five tense hours, Alexi put an end to the game with a walk off single to right field, driving in the winning run from second.
The roar of the crowd in the Metro dome was deafening. My heart broke for my teammates, knowing how hard they had worked that season. However, deep inside my selfish Adderall fueled gut, I wanted to scream out jubilantly with the crowd. The Twins had just put an end to my misery in Detroit.
I must say, I’m so fucking uncomfortable telling you guys this story. Still, I feel it’s necessary to show you how powerful Adderall can be. Never in a million years would I be such a selfish pussy sober. On Adderall I wanted to be the guy who made it all happen. I wanted to be the hero. I wanted the fame and the adoration. Instead of handling my time with the Tigers like a man, I chose to numb my true self and take Adderall which convinced my mind that I was a fucking victim…and that simply wasn’t the case.
Yes, Jim did tell me I’d play every day. But that’s not the point. The point is when I got my opportunities in Detroit I simply didn’t deliver. I only hit .189 with 2 homers, and 13 R.B.I’s. I had no one to blame but myself.
This subject is so passionate for me that I’m dedicating a series of blogs on Adderall addiction and the hell it brought into my life. It truly transformed me into a person I couldn’t stand. I will continue to share with you in these blogs very personal, painful, even embarrassing truths, because I want everyone out there to know just how fucked up this shit is and how crazy it can make you.
If my transparency can save one life from falling into this sea of addiction then the embarrassment will be well worth it.
My whole life I’ve considered myself a winner. Even as a kid I hated to lose. I think about all my accomplishments to date with two World Series rings, thirteen seasons as an MLB player and millions in the bank… yet I still feel that fire to achieve. It’s something that I love about myself but also loathe. Due to my desire to constantly achieve I find it hard to find inner peace, settle, relax and be content.
Since I’ve retired I have had an incredibly hard time transitioning into post-baseball life. I’ve been very transparent with my anxiety, depression, and Adderall abuse as a player. What I haven’t been transparent about is the fact that I’m secretly dying inside due to lack of fulfillment.
This is where my journey with the self-help industry began. Back in 2014 after I had seriously begun contemplating suicide, I knew I needed to reposition my life. I was riddled with daily panic attacks and crippling depression. I hit rock bottom with a persistently negative thought process. I became, for whatever reason, a “worst case” scenario philosopher. I would wake up and think, “Life will never be as fulfilling as it used to be with baseball. I’ll never be as happy again.”
I was only 37!
When you tell yourself something long enough it tends to become a reality. I became hopeless and decided to turn to the self-help section of the library. I read every book I could on personal development. Many were o.k. …most sucked.
Walking down the personal development isle at Barnes and Noble made me feel like a loser. I used to think the people that needed to read this shit to get “pumped up” were weak minded individuals who needed to man the fuck up. I even thought of the self-help industry as a scam. A money making scheme to fuck people who are struggling in life out of money resulting in actually making them more miserable. In my mind Tony Robbins was the ultimate scam artist. All this “motivational” nonsense he spewed, and the poor suckers that guzzled his “kool-aide”.
Despite my outlook on the industry, I began to read the books.
After all…I was miserable.
I also began to work out daily, and instead of having music in my ears I downloaded and listened to motivational speakers. People like Les Brown, Greg Plitt, Eric Thomas, and yes, even Tony Robbins. Needless to say, listening to this playlist while I worked out began to slowly shift the way I thought. Ironically, Tony quickly became my favorite guy to listen to because of the actual science of the psychology he used. He didn’t just talk shit to motivate you, he was teaching me skills to use so I could motivate myself and change my thought process. It was at this time I purchased his DVD series, “The Ultimate Edge.” I listened to the entire audio in 3 days. I was hooked.
I found myself still struggling to find a purpose, value, and fulfillment in my everyday life despite the fact that I was slowly beginning to “buy in” to what was being said.
Then the magic happened.
Halfway through my divorce, I got the answer I was looking for. I had just finished a set of bicep curls, and upon admiring myself in the gym mirror, a quote from Tony sent shock waves through my brain.
“Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.”
That was my holy shit moment. Despite all I had accomplished in life I knew I was still unfulfilled thus a failure.
I was pissed!
How could I have not allowed myself to feel fulfilled? I had chosen the negativity for years, and I was willing to do anything to find a positive mental state. I began researching Tony Robbins and his upcoming events. Ironically enough his Unleash the Power Within tour would be coming to Los Angeles in March of 2019. I had no excuse not to attend.
I still had doubts.
I still thought of the people that attended his events as insane Tony “groupies.” I could never picture myself jumping up and down, screaming at the top of my lungs and crying in front of perfect strangers like a little bitch. I put off signing up until a good friend, Destiny Davis, who had been twisting my arm for months to go to the event, sent me a text. She asked if I had signed up yet. When I read the text I was at my house sitting on the couch, alone, on my third glass of scotch feeling sorry for myself and the life I had created. No bullshit, there was even a tear streaming down my face as I received the text. I immediately hopped on my laptop and signed up while I still had some liquid courage in me.
On March 14th I walked into the LA Convention center with 15,000 insane Tony Robbins fans not knowing what to expect. I have to be honest, it was ridiculously uncomfortable being there. I decided to settle in with an open mind and see what the weekend had in store.
Moments before Tony hit the stage the lights went out. All at once a laser light show overpowered my eyes as The Alan Parsons Project song “Sirius” played at insane volumes. An announcer yelled, “LA are you readddddddy for Tony!!!!” The music switched to Darude’s, “Sandstorm” as Tony busted out onto the stage with his massive presence. The crowd went fucking wild, jumping up and down, and screaming at the top of their lungs. I stood there looking around at all these idiots while I put a couple of silent fist pumps in the air just for show so I wouldn’t be judged.
Once the music died down Tony quickly went to work. He was passionate, sincere, loving, informative, educational, real, raw, and surprisingly funny; dropping the type of language I had only heard in a baseball dugout. I loved him immediately. The first half of the first day was really uncomfortable for me. I had to “high five” and hug perfect strangers. Hell, I even had to massage a guy I had never met for two minutes.
I was way out of my comfort zone.
Then Tony repeated the quote in the gym that got me to attend. It was almost like God had to hit me over the head with a hammer!
“You ever notice how it’s the rich and successful people of the world who are most miserable? Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure. If that’s you, I promise you, by the end of this seminar you’ll have the tools you’ll need to live a life rich with fulfillment.”
I have always considered myself a pretty unemotional guy. I don’t like to cry in front of people. But after he said that I couldn’t help myself. I began crying while bright white lights shined down on me. I didn’t care what anyone thought. It was in that moment that I let go. I bought in and dedicated that whole weekend to not worrying what others around me thought. It was at that moment that I decided to take control of my life once again, after floundering for years in retirement.
I consider day three to be the most “eye-opening.” Tony began teaching us about limiting beliefs. We all have them, and they hold us back. At this point in my life, I had not given this much thought. In this environment, however, my mind went to places I never knew it could. We all had to dig deep into our subconscious minds and see the lies we told ourselves on a daily basis. As the meditative music played I began to access a part of my brain I didn’t know was alive. I began to have an “out of body” writing experience. I went to places in my past long forgotten and found incredible lies I had been telling myself for years.
Tony wanted us to write down three limiting beliefs.
- I will never know how to be a real confident man since my father was murdered when I was six.
- I don’t know if I even know what love is.
- Men only want to be friends with women because they want to be with them sexually.
After we found our limiting beliefs Tony had us all stand. The lights turned completely off while an ominous musical ballad played in the background. Tony began to ask us where our lives would be in 5, 10 or 20 years if we continued accepting our limiting beliefs. At times he was talking to us aggressively…almost taunting the crowd. He wanted us to feel the massive pain our futures would hold if we continued to believe the lies we told ourselves. This process went on for 45 minutes. There was monstrous pain all around me. People yelling at themselves, cursing at themselves. It sounded like I imagined Hell to sound with people crying out as their souls burned. It was a very negative, emotionally draining, scary, yet cleansing moment. All I could do was hit my knees and wail, whimper and bawl as I had never done before.
When the lights turned on I felt purified as the guilt, resentment, pain, sadness, anxiety, and depression of my past beliefs disappeared. Those feelings were replaced with the opposite statements of what I previously believed:
- I am a strong, inspirational, confident man and strong presence for my boys to emulate.
- I love myself, and I love other people like family.
- Women are a gift, and they can and will be some of my best friends.
I seriously wanted to feel that at peace for the rest of my life. As the lights turned on, Tony told us to give ten hugs to anyone around us. I hugged everyone I could and wanted to hug everyone at the conference. I had never felt this much love for others in all my life. After the hugs, a celebratory song came on and I jumped, screamed, and danced with enthusiasm. I was free and happy. I remember at that moment I didn’t give two shits what anyone thought about me anymore. I felt like I did when I was a child… innocent of the world and all of its constraints.