In today’s world there are platforms upon platforms, for talking shit. What is talking shit? It’s talk that is opinion and emotionally based, lacking in any substance that creates authenticity, transparency or truth. I’m not suggesting talking shit is bad, or is without purpose. Hell, I talk shit everyday.
However, our bowel movements aren’t what moves us. Talking about our shit is no more than abandoning pretentiousness and ego driven fear, stemming from society’s social norms and our own insecurities. Let’s be real! Let’s be honest! Let folks see the real you!
We shout out our political views. We talk about our achievements. We skirt around a few “issues”. We are great at talking about what we think of others and how they should act. We talk about tv shows, movies, music and business. We complain about everything under the sun. We jump up when we find someone to listen to what we don’t like about the world. Yet, when it comes to speaking the unspeakable; nothing but crickets.
When is the last time you told someone something that you had kept secret? Or something that scared you? Or you felt shamed in revealing? Have you ever shared a lie (everyone lies sometimes and in someway), outed a behavior, addiction, or the like, that you’ve been hiding?
Every person you know does not just have one of the above mentioned thoughts; they have all of them. Yet, the world keeps spinning without saying a word. If we talked about our shit instead of talking shit, the world would transform from being something we know, to something new and full of people we can relate to, even if we have different views.
Look where talking shit gets us; divided so far we can’t even find common ground with friends and family members.
What the fuck are we doing? We are interacting with each other every day, void of any meaning. It’s like eating food without our bodies receiving the nutrients. We could continue to eat, but we would starve. And that’s what’s happening in our homes and relationships. Starvation.
What’s the big fucking deal? The BFDs I have alluded to are alienation and division, but there are more. Not knowing and hearing that others suffer like you, struggle like you, bring about deep feelings of being alone, creating anxiety, depression, leading in some instances to addiction, divorce, disease, suicide, etc.. All that is really needed is a simple honest answer to the question, “How are you?” Instead of saying “fine”, even in public settings with strangers, tell them the truth! “I’m kinda fucked and scared to tell you and I’m ok as well”. You’ll be amazed at the response you receive. I’m not suggesting people won’t think you insane. But sooner, rather than later, you will make a big time connection.
The secret is most folks are just waiting for someone, anyone to get real. Once they see it’s safe, it’s an absolute game changer.
No lie, as I’m writing this piece, I’m in Miami for my mother-in-law’s 70th birthday celebration. I’m typing away, soaking in the sun’s rays, cooling off by jumping into the pool every so often. (This just happened) a lady walks by and we smile at each other. She’s says, “Hi, how are you doing?” And I reply, “I couldn’t be better for someone whose so fucked up!” She says, “That’s the best answer I’ve ever heard.” I deflect and say, “Don’t try to to top it. Answer honestly, how are you?” Now I have to tell you, I’m a pro, so I know how to keep this from becoming a two hour thing and keep it to a few minutes; which is all the time I had. She replies, “I’m lonely. I have family, friends and even a spouse. But I’m lonely”. I say, “I’ll bet you that if you interact with others just like we are doing now, and, we still haven’t really said much, that you won’t be lonely anymore”. She says, “I won’t bet you, because I know you’re right. We still haven’t introduced ourselves and it’s weird, but I feel like we know each other.” I respond quickly with “we do. And when we are truthful and transparent with people, even with strangers like us, it’s impossible to feel alone.” She thanked me and told me she felt like she just received 10 years of therapy in two minutes. I thanked her and told her she did! She laughed and that was that.
Friends, this is how we roll, living the Emotional Empowerment Movement! What better way to execute this teaching of “sharing yourself” than with a connection that literally happened while I was writing this article.
Although we have been conditioned to stay “closed”, the teaching is simple and doable just about anytime or anywhere. The thirst you have for knowing people and being known, for seeing folks and being seen, and for being supportive and supporting all, becomes quenched by talking about your shit, instead of talking shit.
Be the first to burst the bubble of fear, and in doing so, you will open the door to a magical, meaningful world of human connection.
If there is anything I know about myself, it’s that I need help. I don’t have all the answers. Even the answers I do have, I do not necessarily follow through with them.
Thus, the knowing and needing direction comes from a launch into this world that was unnecessarily painful for 18 years and counting. As long as I can remember I felt there was something wrong with me. As soon as I entered elementary school, testing for learning disabilities and psychological issues began. I remember having to go to a “special” room for classes and feeling humiliated. Along with that, once a week I was pulled out of school for the afternoon to go to a psychiatrist. I can vividly see that room as a 5-year-old. Every second there was torture. The worst part was being sent into a “back room” of the office to play, while my parents talked to the psychiatrist. I heard all of their conversation. That wasn’t “play time” for me.
Now as gruesome as that was, everyone was just trying to help me. Yet, I still believed help was for the weak, the broken, and the losers. Nearly 13 years later while addicted to drugs and being homeless, I realized help wasn’t for the weak, broken and losers. It was to prevent someone from becoming those labels.
Needing help is a universal experience. The fact is nothing in this world is done alone.
I could not be writing this article without someone inventing the language. I would be naked if someone did not make my clothes. I would be insane unless I had teachers, teachings and directions to follow.
In case there is any confusion, I’m talking about interpersonal help. Many of us will eventually ask for assistance because we see it as necessary. Isn’t our mental wellbeing the most needful?
So why the fuck is it so hard to ask for help? Moreover, when we finally do the asking, why don’t we take the direction?
Humans have many nasty habits. For our purposes we will look at two. The first being the belief that we “know”. Humans believe they know way more than they do. Josh Billings stated this brilliantly, “The problem with most folks is not that they don’t know but that they know so much that ain’t so”.
The hardest three words for most people to say are, “I don’t know”. Hell, I’ve even asked people for directions or some other kind of help only to hear, “I don’t know, but”; and then give me an answer. At least those folks had the decency to cue the not knowing and then spew out some bullshit. In most cases, it’s just bullshit said with great conviction.The second beauty of a habit is trying to do things “on our own”. We believe that when we achieve whatever it is we are insanely trying to accomplish with the least amount of help, we get some secret societal badge of honor. Not so, we are more apt to have heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes, insomnia, as well as other medical maladies.
Both of these habits come from one place within us. The ego. The ego is the self-identifying factor in you that says, “I can do this myself”; “I don’t need help”; “I know”.
Furthermore, the ego creates two complexes: inferiority and superiority.
When we are suffering from the inferiority complex, we are more likely not to ask for help. The reason being that the ego has us believing we aren’t worthy, or others will think even less of us. When we are suffering from the superiority complex, we “know”. We take credit where credit isn’t due. The last thing we think we need is help. Yet, it is impossible to see the help we are getting. Moreover, and this is not “public knowledge”, it’s the ego that is the virus keeping us from learning, growing, and changing.
As with any inner personal work, it takes more than a blog, a book or even a program to truly transform one’s thinking, feelings, and behaviors. The intention here is to help you start to begin to understand that help creates lives we want to live. It saves life from becoming insufferable. It uplifts the person(s) helping and those receiving. It’s not just a party of life. It’s a way of life.
Michael Jordan, an elite basketball player, made the baskets. But his teammates, coaches, friends and family helped him get to the point of being “in the air “right up to the ball leaving his fingertips. We celebrate individuals and teams without seeing all the support, direction, and hand holding they receive. If that assistance had not been there, their accomplishments would never have happened.
You must be willing to fight, to ask for the help you need. Then receive it, and most importantly live it. Asking for help is not coming from a position of weakness, but from one of strength. There is a world full of people that are now living a perversion of their lives because they couldn’t or wouldn’t ask for assistance.
This article alone can be the difference between you being one of those people or living the life you’ve always wanted to live.
I’ll leave you with one of the most powerful sayings, which changed my life,
“Only you can do it, but you can’t do it alone.”
My days are filled with Sadhana which is a Sanskrit word for practices or exercises that help to keep a person from getting entangled in the world, which includes one’s own negativity, fears and mundane desires. In a word, these practices keep me from being fucked.
The most important one is a morning study. I spend an hour studying from text that teach the highest principles in living. I take some notes but mostly read a bit, think, reflect, and contemplate the teachings. Doing this every morning, not only reminds me to not be an asshole, but that I can live with freedom and peace no matter what comes my way. That’s pretty powerful, since the rest of the world acts like a pinball in a pinball machine bouncing off every bumper to stay alive as long as possible, only, at some point, to fall down the alley and disappear.
I have been having a hard time staying peaceful recently. There are a host of family, business and societal things going on; there always are. I find that if I were to wait for things to “settle down” my whole life would be “waiting”. Thus in 1986 I took it upon myself to learn how to live. That said, there are certain challenges which bring about agitation still…
Work or to be clear my present ability to handle it properly is causing the greatest disturbance. I’ve been working on a project for 3 years. In truth everything I’ve done professionally over the past 23 years has led to this. The road to get to this launching point could fill a book or two so let’s just say it took all I had and then some. The relationship I built with myself during the process has been made possible because of my Sadhana. I couldn’t have made it without it. Although, I’ve been anxious because I am not evolved enough to live peacefully with having spent the budget, earning no income and needing more money to support the endeavor; I also have not become paralyzed, nor has it affected my relationships or moods. How do I live without knowing? How do I live without being able to support my family right now? How do I live in a city that has taken away my personal rights? How I do it, is by learning from those that have mastered it all. The few who live or lived a life without any agitations or frustrations. They lived effortlessly and peacefully. They lived in the same world you and I do, but rose above it into another stratosphere while still being a part of it every day. I study their teachings and follow their direction. Even as I experience my own doubt and dilemmas, hearing their voices every morning keeps me from falling out of grace, flat on my face and back to that old place that I so distaste.
One man who has inspired the few that have read his works is Rama Tirtha. Rama, in 1903 hopped on a boat from India to Japan with no clothes or money and somehow found his way to lecturing to the public in packed halls. He traveled to the United States, again without money or clothes. He found himself in 1904 in San Francisco lecturing to the public and making a huge splash. His mission was to spread the blueprint on happiness and how to find personal freedom. I came across this poem while studying his lectures that were recorded and transcribed by his students. It helped me move past what was bugging me.
“We build our future thought by thought, for good or bad and know is not. Thought is another name for fate; choose, then, thy, destiny and wait. Mind is the of master of its sphere; Be calm, be steadfast and sincere; Fear is the only foe to fear. Let the God in thee rise and say: To circumstance – Obey and thy dear wish shall have its way”.
You may be saying “How the fuck can a poem help me? Are you nuts, EP?” I would have asked the same question long ago. It’s important to note that had I not been at this for so many decades and learned the art of thinking, questioning, and contemplating, I wouldn’t have a fucking clue what this poem really meant nor how it could help me. I shared it to model what I do and what it takes for me to, at a bare minimum, not to be crazy. You aren’t going to miraculously read a poem, book, or anything for that matter and all of the sudden “get it”.
Developing a Sadhana is the starting point for furthering our personal growth. For me it becomes, before anything else, for without it I have nothing, I am nothing. With steadfastness and time a freakin poem can be life sustaining or changing because of who you’ve become not from the words in the poem. Of course study is not the only practice. There has been therapy, workshops, retreats, trainings, teachers, mentors, daily, weekly, monthly, bi monthly, quarterly, bi annual and annual practices as well. All of which support one mission: Eric being at peace.
If you found this blog, you can rest assure you are close to or have found where you can develop your own practices. We put the cart before the course every day. The human being is the only creature on the planet that can build a life he can’t handle. When this happens and it always does, life crashes and so does the human. With a Sadhana, we build ourselves first and then whatever happens in life, we have a handle to hold on to, to lift us up and get us through.
If there is one thing we all have in common with each other, it’s that we want to be free. We do not want to be imprisoned, held captive, confined, or the like, in any way. The very foundation for American life is freedom and that cry is heard around the world. But what is freedom anyway? Is it doing what you want when you want? Saying what you want, when you want? Is freedom more personal? Is it just something each of us defines for ourselves, such as “Freedom is not having to work”.
For most, it’s all of the above. Yet, if that is so, how could someone be truly free if he is not able to manage himself? Emotional Empowerment is, in essence, self control. A human being is the only creature that can and must learn to have precise self control in order to be free. There is no such thing as freedom as long as someone can aggravate, bother, agitate, frustrate or anger you. Hell, there’s no freedom if weather, business, or politics can change your mood or behavior.
Furthermore, it is one’s emotions that dictate what to do, when to do it, who to like, or not like, what to believe in or not, and so on. How can one claim freedom, when, at anytime, a person, place, or thing can change their “being”? Or, when one’s own emotions are controlling them?
Emotional Empowerment is the ability to control thoughts, perceptions, and emotions that disturb or disrupt us internally. It is having the strength and wisdom to know how to be able to contact the world or relate to the world in a way that brings about no disturbance. This is a tall order due to the fact that we humans having an unconscious contract that allows us to act as prisoners of our emotions. Living this way is actually considered acceptable, because it’s the norm. What do we get? We get a world full of people chasing freedom without having the least bit of understanding that their imprisonment is self induced and the only way out is by educating oneself in the higher principles of living. Learning the art of Emotional Empowerment needs to be the highest priority in one’s life; career, family or whatever other dreams humans come up with, not withstanding.
I am not talking politics here. I’m talking philosophy. The reason being is governments can’t give someone freedom. They can only give them the opportunity to have it. Billions of people consume their lives, trying to get their political views implemented. Even if they are successful; freedom is not achieved. In politics, there are many different “political parties”.
All have the answers that will make their country and their people have peace and prosperity. Funny thing is, none have worked.
In philosophy we have two kinds of people; introverts and extroverts. Don’t get this confused with personality traits. This is different. Philosophically, extroverts are people who base their life on what’s happening outside themselves. They place their lives in the hands of the world hoping that people, places, and things will give them what they want. These people rely on the world being a particular way so they will be okay. They spend their lives wishing, hoping, praying and trying to fix the world so things are the way they need them to be in order to have peace and happiness. The biggest problem with this way of living is that the very nature of the world, which consists of people, places and things, is change. Even those with extreme wealth, power, fame, or all three, can’t keep the world from changing. Therefore, all the work that goes into getting your life the way you want it as an extrovert will go out the window at any time. That is guaranteed.
Introverts base their lives on managing themselves, not the world. They spend their lives creating a peace within themselves. They look to themselves, and not the world, to find peace and happiness. If an introvert has a problem, they don’t get upset. They look at themselves to see what they must do to change, grow, learn, and improve. To simplify this, an extrovert would say “someone or something ruined my day today. I wish they would change.” An introvert would say “I allowed someone or something to ruin my day. I must learn how to change the way I hear, see, think, believe or feel so I no longer am disturbed by this”.
We can’t use the word freedom in our vocabulary, if we are dependent on people, places and things. Of course we must have food, water and shelter. That’s the extent of our extroversion. Without our own Emotional Empowerment, freedom is this huge idea that excites everyone, but will never be reached.
Sure there can be moments of movement that mask themselves as freedom. An example is a break up or divorce. Most people go through great pain during the process and, often for years after. Then, Freedom. That person, or the thought of them, along with the pain and suffering may be gone. But you are not free.
Freedom is not the absence of misery. Freedom exists when your happiness is no longer dependent on the outside world. In other words, freedom is happiness minus external factors.
Imprisonment is when your happiness is reliant on external agencies. Hence, if freedom is what you are after, it’s time to become Emotionally Empowered. There is no other way.
Imagine a life where, in war or peace, honor or dishonor, pain or pleasure, wealth or poverty, birth or death; you were good, solid, helpful, happy and oh, yeah, Free. That can be….
There are a shit ton of fears known to man. None of which we are here to support, deny, or tell you if they are right or wrong. We are here to share our experience with our own fears and those that are projected onto us. In order to do so, we must first define fear. Unfortunately, you have to be willing to work with your own fears to get this. Hold on tight! Here we go.
Fear is an effect. Yep. That’s it. You have heard enough psycho babble definitions. This is philosophy. Therefore, in order to have fear, there must be a cause. Boy, oh boy, are we good at assigning the wrong cause to our fear. According to Vedanta teachings, or any yoga scripture worth its weight, your fear does not come from the boogeyman, death, money loss, distrust, heights, spiders, snakes, tight spaces and the like. The cause of your fear comes from four distinct places.
Here are the four causes with antidotes (for no extra charge).
Ignorance: as long as a person is ignorant in a certain area of life, there is fear. If you are afraid of the dark, it is because of the ignorance of your surroundings. Knowledge takes away all fear. Here’s a real life example. I was terrified of computers, iPads, hell, any tablet. I believed that with one touch of a button my fat thumbs could destroy my life or someone else’s. For years I avoided using any form of computer. Avoidance is a strategy that anyone with fear uses. Then my wife came onto the scene; a techie, cool person. She taught me just enough to make the fear disappear. The light of wisdom always dispels the darkness of ignorance; that’s the law.
Sense of otherness: This is seeing ourselves as separate from others, or just different. To be honest, I see everyone as separate from me. If you are being honest, so do you. The moment there is a “me”, “you”, “us” or “them”; fear is born. History has shown us that all too many times. Yet, our daily lives reflect it even more as we repeat history. Connection, unity, or oneness breeds peace, happiness and trust. The moment there is oneness fear evaporates.
Selfishness: Selfish people are destructive. They help themselves at the cost of others; consciously or unconsciously. Carnivores are afraid. Yet, they do the destroying. Herbivores are at peace. They do no harm. Try to take the words “I”, “me” or “my” out of your vocabulary. It’s almost impossible. There isn’t a person who is not selfish. The idea is to become less selfish and, thus, become less fearful. A student asked the great Swami Tirtha when his fear would be no more? Swami Tirtha replied to the question, “When shall I be free? When the “I” ceases to be.”
Attachment: Friends, attachment alone may encompass all the others. For attachment creates not only fear, but the other causes of it! It is a selfish, preferential, unilateral, binding and consuming love. Thus, it’s not love at all. Attachment to wealth leads to the fear of being impoverished. Attachment to social privilege leads to infamy. Attachment to the body leads to fear of discomfort, aging, viruses and disease.
Fun, right! All of these fears are due to our own attachments. Love is the answer. Love is identification, freeing, oneness and universal. Love and fear never exist together. But attachment and fear only exist together. Therefore, anytime there is fear in relationships, it is due to attachment.
Rina and I have a marriage that is full of fear, which makes it often full of shit. However, we maintain harmony, in spite of the fear, because we have identified the cause (hint it’s not the other person in any way, shape or form) thus, the proper solution can be implemented.
In families and marriages all four of the aforementioned character defects can be found. Add a pandemic and you have a shit show of epic proportions.
We aren’t afraid of COVID 19. The fear stems from our ignorance of it. We are not concerned if someone is vaccinated or not. We are selfish and want others to behave according to our beliefs. Our fear of dying from a virus isn’t about a virus. It’s about the attachment to our body. The fear of making our own decisions comes from the fear that is caused by otherness.
The next time fear begins to creep into your family or marriage, look at yourself and make sure your side of the street is clean. Once you have done the work; your work is done.
A day doesn’t pass in my life where I don’t receive a call from someone who is going through some kind of struggle or wanting to share some form of a victory. Today was no different. I received a call from a person near and very dear to me. It had been a while since we caught up. I asked the magic question, “What’s going on?” and off we went. He began to share about some struggles and how he got through them. We spoke about the difficulty he experiences in asking for help. Then he said, “Before we go any further, I have to tell you one thing that really was special. But first I have to ask, you do you have a Glob?” Of course, I responded with “What the fuck is a Glob?” He explained that a glob was the word he invented for the human dilemma of believing there is something you’ve done or haven’t done. Or something about you that is so abhorrent that you could never tell anyone. The shame associated with this is so great that you believe if you share it with anyone or if anyone found out, your life would be over.
I commended him for naming this awful trait and then I answered his question; “I don’t have a Glob”. He wasn’t expecting that answer. He said before you tell me how in the hell you don’t have one, let me tell you what happened. He shared a lovely story about a friend he’s had for decades who had called him to talk. Their friendship was a one-way street in terms of intimacy. My friend has been an open book. His friend not so much. Their meeting marked the first time this man shared himself. He had a Glob. He was suffering deeply because of it, and he shared it. He had an affair and was caught. He was shamed by his wife and adult kids, and he kept it a secret from everyone else.
He shared a bit more of the story which entailed the relief his friend found in opening up and then we returned back to us. He continued that he had shared this story with his girlfriend, and they decided to share their Globs with each other. The subsequent joy that came from letting them go, having them be heard and being accepted and loved after was one of, if not, the greatest experiences of his life. We then spent the next 90 minutes dissecting what this Glob is and how it slowly destroys any chance for happiness. Here are the excerpts, enjoy…
A Glob has no relative awfulness. This means that everyone feels the same shame regardless of the offense. I’ve worked with folks that have felt like a fraud for decades because of a test they cheated on in 5th grade! This same fraudulent feeling is felt by a person who has been cheating his business partner for years. One seems like such a little offense and the other huge, yet the same psychological set is experienced by both. A Glob is the seed that which grows fear, walls, self-doubt and worthlessness. How? A Glob keeps feeding off the thought, “if they only knew”… As long as we listen to that line of thinking, we remain separate from the world and as long as we are separate, we will suffer from the symptoms above. There is no fear, there are no walls, and there can’t be self-doubt or worthlessness when there in oneness. Thus, the Glob is the cause of misery, not whatever we believe the offense to be. It’s not that you lied, stole, cheated, hurt someone, manipulated, abused, whored yourself or whatever the hell happened to you. It is your relationship with it that is creating the mess. Once over, you aren’t alone. You aren’t the only one, not by a long shot. Yet that’s the way it “feels”. This feeling becomes fact. Life gets cemented in it and leaves us a fucking mess. No matter what good we do. No matter how many years pass, the Glob wins unless…
The Glob doesn’t want you to know it has a glaring weakness. The fact is that the antidote works so quickly even if you’ve been suffering for years. The Glob spends its life span with one mission; convincing you that you will never say a word. Why? Because the moment you share it, the second you hear yourself speaking out, speaking up, the Glob begins to disappear. It’s like turning a nightlight on in a dark bathroom. The moment the light gets switched on is the moment the darkness disappears. The Glob is a lie. It’s an illusion and it can’t hold up to the exposure. Now listen closely! I am not saying the hurt you caused or received is a lie. I am saying the relationship you have with it is. This means the way you internalize, think and feel about it, is bullshit. How can I say this? Because you wouldn’t have the Glob otherwise. What gives birth to the Glob is your perception, or we can say it’s not the action but your reaction. The same thing can be done by another, or done to another, and no Glob. Feeling remorse or hurt isn’t a Glob. Feeling shame, isolation, despair, and worthlessness is.
As with most solutions, the answer is in opposition with the problem which makes things tricky. Will you go tell someone today about your Glob? Some of you will. This blog is enough to push you over the edge and that is amazing. But for most, we need to build the skills that will give us the courage and strength to break free from this prison. You most definitely need the right person to share this with. This is not an announcement one makes on social media. This takes careful consideration and often the first step is hiring a professional to help. Sharing with someone who is trained in these kinds of things ensures the safety needed to begin to release the Glob. Don’t wait a day longer any of you. Today is the day. Find the help you need one way or another and free yourself so you can be yourself.
As for me, well, all I ever knew was a Glob. From the moment I can remember I felt something was wrong with me. Sure, shit happened along the way. Sexual, verbal, physical abuse and learning disabilities to name a few. But before those occurred, I had already convinced myself that I was broken and no one could know. The result landed me in a drug rehab thirty days before my 18th birthday. There I heard people talking about their Globs. I had never heard anything like it and for the first time ever I felt “normal”. That cloud of gloom was lifting, and I hadn’t even shared my Glob yet. I’ll never forget the shift in me from a desperate sense of needing to hide my secrets to unknown excitement to share them; I’ve never looked back. By no means am I perfect. In fact, the only thing I’m perfect at is fucking up; but no Globs. Once I saw the truth in life, which is everyone suffers, everyone lies to themselves and every person lacks self-control, in one way or another. Then the silliest thing in the world is to be ashamed of being like everyone else. The Glob’s hold on us is “no one will understand”, “they will think less of you”. Its hope is that in pulling us away from each other we won’t find out what I have and so many others have about one another. There is no one who is unique. There is no one who is better or worse. We are all in the same boat, suffering from the same affliction; emotional ignorance and needing the same solution, Emotional Empowerment.