Back in September 2017, I attended a workshop called ‘Unleash your Power from Within’, which was a teaser for Tony Robbin's main event next year in Feb 1-4, 2018.
I got strongly present to my filters in that one workshop.
What do I mean by filter?
It’s this invisible wall that most of us “adults” unconsciously put up, that blocks us from having authentic connnections with others. Babies don’t have filters, they don’t have any stories yet. As we get older, we develop our own stories about what happens to us - which colours our judgement and somewhat it turns an internal discrimination of others and even of ourselves.
I’ve not met anyone who isn’t judgemental.
Even saying nice things like “oh I think he’s really nice!” That’s a judgement albeit a nice one.
It’s the voice in our head that says “Let’s not speak to him/her. He/she might not understand what I say. He knows more. I don’t know anything. He might not like you. You’re not important enough etc. I’m not worthy.”
"They are better than me”
My default filter is ‘They are better than me”.
I don't like attending parties or networking events, where I don’t know anyone. On the mat - I used to avoid practicing near anyone who is a super yogi (the kind that can fly or touch their toes to the back to their head) . I don’t even sit near the teacher. When I teach, I catch myself hesitating when there are "taller” people in my class or there are super yogis or teachers.
I know this filter comes from my relationship with my dad, that I tell myself “I can't talk to him.” I remember him as being super autocratic and very fierce when I was younger and so I have this fear of people seemingly in power - can be in the height, or build or different colour skin etc. I’m also aware that this fear is not allowing me to share authentically with others.
In Baptiste Level 2, Paige asked “what if this person turns up for my class? What would I do? Can I be myself or not?”
And you know what - I could not. I knew that the only way to overcome my fear to speak to my dad about what's going on. But that is really hard - How do I tell my dad that I want to marry my boyfriend who will not be converting to Islam? Amongst others.
I was lucky.
At that time of Level 2, my husband had not proposed to me yet. 1 month later, he proposed, and the natural course was that he spoke to my dad about our intentions. It wasn’t scary with Thom around.
That one success however, doesn't stop the filter from showing up day in day out.
During the workshop, while waiting to get into the room - I did feel kinda small, in my casual jeans, whilst most of them were in suits, having just come off work.
“I’m better than them.”
Then this popped suddenly, which was a shocker.. It’s a new filter, which I’ve yet to acknowledge. Interesting.
I think I’ve not acknowledged it because I didn’t want to believe this of me - that I’m the "arrogant bitch who thinks she knows everything and everyone else is beneath her”. I’m acknowledging it right now - that I’m hiding it from myself. In fact, there was so much physical sensation that it was difficult to ignore.
My body felt super stiff, I even had my arms crossed!! And I felt really awkward and weird. I cringed inwardly when the audience started to be as exuberant as the host.
But COME ON!
Before the start of the workshop; I said hi to the girl beside me and she didn’t seem friendly, but within the next 10 mins when the program started, she started being animated. She hugged me plus there were other people jumping out of the seats too!! So weird.
I’ve never been to church but it looked like those American shows where the church congregation got excited with whatever the pastor was saying; they sing, they scream, they put the hands up; some even fainting… something like that.
Another thing I got me high and mighty, was when the host said “I’m not selling anything”.
I felt a sense of deja-vu, and suspicion rose, kinda like the same feeling like when - “Have you been to a free facial or a massage session and after they put you in this tiny room, and they have 2 people coming at you to buy their packages? And you feel like you are being cornered to say yes?” That’s what it felt like - a sales pitch and quite gimmicky even though it was purported not to be.
I felt these people at the workshop were not themselves and I remembered telling myself “this is not me." Certain things do excite me, but I felt that I know better than to be hoodwinked into spending thousands of dollars. And I'm not that gullible.
But the real truth is -
I’m gullible. I’ve been “persuaded” to sign up for many facial packages, because I can’t say no. I’ve participated in 2 MLM schemes, that lost me money.
In fact, what I see in them, is what I see in myself. I’m gullible. I don’t want to be but I am. If they know that I am, then they might laugh at me.
But this is just my story.
Truthfully, I did want to learn something. And in order to learn, I need to drop what I know. I did try. Physically I uncrossed my legs and arms and I stayed.
The evening workshop ended as expected, with them rallying people to purchase tickets for Tony’s weekend extravaganza. The host said this "If you want to have it, TAKE ACTION! And if you don’t - you lose."
I am my own woman. You don't tell me what to do.
In retrospect, I felt that they should not have undersell the real intention of the workshop which was to sell the tickets, and after lay on the guilt trip to make me bad and worthless after as I had no intention to purchase.
So what, if I didn’t take action.
Baron says “Sometimes our ability to say no actually serves our bigger yes!”
He also says "Intention without action is useless" and hey I attended the workshop didn’t I? I took action! It’s not time yet for me, Mr Robbins.
My bigger YES is to get certified in Baptiste Yoga. So I’m going to put my money in there
Why is it important to connect authentically?
Simply because at the end of the day - as human beings, we all want to love and to be loved.
I recognise my filters and I’ve the choice to stay so I can be in pure listening of others and myself. Honestly I don’t know anything. I’m not much better than them nor are they better than me. It’s just my story; my ego.
And my dearest ego is robbing me of potential honest connection with people who may just need a simple hello to know they’re not alone, or they could be the one who could help me achieve my dreams!!!
My work is in giving myself the chance to stay in the uncomfortable zone, so I can learn and grow from it. To find surprise and adventure in disrupting the order of my filtered mind.
So how do we form authentic connections?