I think I have a thing for guys named Tony. Granted I married a guy named Drew so I suppose it's not that big of a thing. Then again I am convinced that he (Drew) will look like one of the Tonys in the not so distant future and he (Drew) is in love with the other Tony... so perhaps its just a mutual thing?
The first Tony in our saga is f*&^ing Tony Robbins (I phrase it that way because I strongly feel that is how he would introduce himself). To be honest, I don't know a whole lot about Tony Robbins, in fact, before last night I knew literally nothing about him. Seriously. So what was so enlightening about last night you may ask? Well, I watched the new(ish) Netflix documentary, "Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru" thats what. And do you want to know what happened? I found my guru... jk but I did cry... multiple times thats what! "It's all the hype" you think, "He gets people worked up and dupes them into 'breakthroughs' that won't last" you say, "It can't be real!"... mmhmmm, yep, sure... that is what I thought too and then I proceeded to watch this documentary, cry, and realize that, holy shit this man is onto something.
Tony Robbins is a teddy lion... a cuddle bear... a fierce force of nature coupled with a gentle breeze.. he is the ocean, strong, powerful, inviting and full... he can speak to pain because he has experienced pain, he can speak to struggle because he is human and has gone through struggle, he can challenge you because he has challenged himself. Granted, I think some of his tactics are a little nuts, but if they work, who the f*&^ cares!? Seriously! You can judge the people who like this guy, follow this guy, and go to his events... but I can't any more. Everyone has something they are carrying. None of us go through life with out picking up some baggage along the way and Tony wants to help people put down their suitcases and unpack all the shit they have shoved inside and hauled around for years on end; he was to liberate people, he wants to free people from the pain and suffering they are holding onto.
Do you know what was the most mind blowing part- we do most of the damage to ourselves! Seriously. Sure, there is something that triggers a pattern, behavior, or belief, but at the end of the day we perpetuate the cycles and continue the torture, long after the source of suffering has ended.*
Mental health is connected to self identity, which is connected to our self belief, which is connected to our physical well being, which affects our outlook on the world, how we feel, interact, connect... one leads to another, leads to another. What we believe about ourselves is often what we believe about the world around us.
We all know this... well if we possess any semblance of self awareness we know it. The problem is, we acknowledge the problem, we talk about it, we go through the motions... but when it comes to change we get locked up. The amazing thing Tony does is this- he sees past all the bullshit, he pushes through the excuses and facades, he sees the truth inside of people and pulls it to the surface- he breaks through them so that they can have a breakthrough within themselves. It is an incredible thing to see. No wonder people are willing to pay as much as they do to go to his events!
My therapist once told me that I am too emotionally intelligent... One would think that emotional intelligence is a good thing, however, she smoothly informed me that my emotional intelligence was actually detrimental to my healing and growth. I chose to ignore her and believe that my emotional intelligence was my gift, my ability to self analyze and assess kept me from falling off the cliff you know? But then I watched that documentary and began to realize that I was allowing the good to be the enemy of the great. I was settling for self analysis when what I really crave is healing and (to put it in Tony terms) a breakthrough.
Tony Robbins may not be a guru, but his love, compassion, passion, humility, strength, and generosity have changed the course of thousands of peoples lives and that, my friends, is a beautiful thing. It is inspiring and enlightening and challenging, to say the (very) least.
Tony, if you ever read this- thank you for what you do. Someday I would love to sit and talk over a coffee, strike that, you probably don't drink coffee because it is bad for your adrenals which will impact peak self performance etc... we can walk and talk and drink a juice, hows that? You possess a spirit of tonglen, deep and vast as the ocean; I was amazed by how strongly that came across, even in the documentary. One day, I hope our paths cross, until then- blessings, peace, love, and light.
*Please know I am not saying that you cause your own trauma... as a fellow holder of trauma I would never cast that kind of judgement on anyone! I am simply exploring the idea of changing what we do with those experiences- do we get bitter or better? Do we fight or do we suffer? etc.
p.s. Come back again for the second part of the story... a Tony who could not be more different... and yet, somehow, very much the same.