How Dance Enhances Our Essence, Feminine Energy & Happiness – ALLAF 032

Dance feeds our feminine, and the child inside of us longs for the freedom to play dress up and dance. But problems can stop us from dancing. Hear from Tony Robbins and his wife Sage how we can turn problems into gifts and create habits that make us happier.

In December 2019, my husband and I took six days to focus on who we are now and who we are becoming at Date with Destiny. What a gift. To dance, celebrate, weep and reflect in close proximity 5,000 extraordinary people, all the while being coached and trained by the legend that is Tony Robbins.

I thought this event would be like attending a rock concert from 11am to 2am for 6 days straight with wild dancing and nightclub lights. I was right.

But I also thought this event would be more about how to improve and expand our business. Many of the people there were already financially free to their own standards, so it became clear that business was not the focus of this gathering.

The reason you came is not the reason you came.

-Tony Robbins

We’re no strangers to the personal development world. We love it. My husband and I went to T Harv Eker’s Millionaire Mind training after I was laid off from two non-profits that I was very passionate about one after the other.

We spent the year after that traveling to incredible events focused on growing our business, investing, manifesting, marketing, and basically being unstoppable in whatever we do. In the Landmark Forum we learned how to take separate what actually happened from the stories we make up, and create an empowering story and kick out the victim bullshit.

We meditated in silence for 10 days at a Vipassana retreat in India and learned to follow our breath. I had spent a bit of my Peace Corps Thailand Service in meditation as well. Covered myself in creativity on the playa at Burning Man. These amazing experiences have shaped us. We also attended Unleash the Power Within with Tony Robbins a month before we adopted our son, and that was incredible. I walked on fire for our little man twice before I even met him.

And Date with Destiny gave us something more that I didn’t anticipate. It turned us into a giant flock of love bugs, looking deeply into the eyes of a stranger reciting the Hoʻoponopono Hawaiian forgiveness prayer:

I am sorry.

I love you.

Please forgive me.

Thank you.

Yes. Pure forgiveness flowing out of us. Simultaneously freeing us when we say it as well as the person who listens deeply.

Imagine saying this to your friend or family member that you lost touch with. Imagine saying this to your spouse after you lose your temper. The first time it may not feel like much, but keep saying it. Look into their eyes. Look farther in, entering their eyes as a doorway to spirit. This direct access to forgiveness is one of the most powerful practices I have ever experienced.

An apology: I have judged the parts of you that I cannot live without.

Mercy is when you have the power to do something but you choose not to. – Tony Robbins

And Tony told us,

Complexity is the enemy of execution – Tony Robbins

I had been searching for this clarity. And after pondering complexity, I decided that

Simplicity and clarity are the allies of execution. – Alicia Free

Ah. Clarity. This was a big theme for me at the event.

The purpose of a goal is not to make you happy. The goal is all about who you become along the way…Progress makes us happy. Not reaching goals. – Tony Robbins

Tony says that our values are “the emotional states that we believe are most important for us to either get or avoid.” At Date with Destiny we learned ways to design our expectations and values so that feeling happy is easy. So that experiencing negative, low energy states happens a lot less than high energy states like joy and love. “Our emotions, beliefs and values are invisible forces in our lives.” Huh. So why have I spent so much time in my life being frustrated and angry? Am I the victim or the victor? I decide.

What we resist persists.

So much pain comes from our habit of focus that doesn’t serve us. We can influence what we focus on. 45% of our behavior is habitual.

Pain is not in the facts. It’s in your perception of the facts.

There are 3 things that cause suffering: The fear of loss, less, and never

Worrying about being triggered means you are always reacting.

To angry people everything is offensive. To grateful people, everything is a gift.

Angry people think everything is aggravation.

IF YOU ARE UNHAPPY, YOU MAY HAVE MADE TOO MANY RULES THAT DON’T REALLY MATTER.

Pain provides 3 choices: #1 Ignore and blame events, others, or self; or #2 Change your life conditions; or #3 Change your blueprint

When life conditions do not meet your blueprint, you suffer. Suffering is when you believe you cannot change your blueprint.

Hurt is just the illusion of loss.

All suffering is not in the facts. It’s in my perception of the facts.

Suffering comes from expectations. Trade your expectations for appreciation.

We can deal with the worst day on the planet if we have a compelling future.

Was it an accident, or were you guided by grace?

Tony Robbins

So there are patterns here. And through bliss and exhaustion and training we were able to see more patterns, which is just about the most helpful human skill I can think of.

Tony Robbins says that people who have power:

  1. Recognize patterns

  2. Utilize patterns

  3. Create patterns

Can I recognize my own patterns?

  1. Do I focus on what I have or what is missing?
  2. Do I focus on what I cannot or can control?
  3. Do I focus on the past, present, or the future?

If you want joy, it is only in the present. – Tony Robbins

Fuck being manageable. Let’s experience joy. Let’s see and change our patterns.

You get what you tolerate.

PROBLEMS NEED ENERGY TO LIVE – Tony Robbins

What is a problem? Something that doesn’t fit my idea of how it should be? They are relative.

The 3 Ps of Learned Helplessness: A problem is Permanent, Pervasive (everything is impacted), Personal

Problems are not permanent.

Problems are gifts. Almost all of our growth comes from them. Problems are a sign of life. Get on your knees and pray for them.

PROBLEMS ARE HOW WE SCULPT OR SOULS. – Tony Robbins

So when am I habitually doing something that doesn’t work?

Tony mentioned a quote from the film “A Beautiful Mind”. Something about problems. Darkness.

It was something like“…It will never go away. I just don’t feed it. I realize that whatever I feed every day grows bigger.” – Based on a quote from the film A Beautiful Mind

So what am I feeding? Frustrating. Righteousness. Impatience. Those feelings don’t need to go away. They are part of my life. I can just choose not to feed them. Instead, I will feed love, grace, and playfulness. That’s why I’m here.

So how do I do that?

Strategic innovation is about changing the rules of the game, and that’s about asking new questions.

ASK A SHITTY QUESTION, GET A SHITTY ANSWER. Ask better questions. – Tony Robbins

Hmm. Ask better questions. This brings me back to meditation. How do I master my mind?

Tony says there are 3 Levels of Mastery:

  1. Cognitive mastery: understand it. But knowing it is not enough.
  2. Emotional mastery: Feel it. Link it with emotional consequences
  3. Physical mastery: Doing it consistently. You embody it. It is your identity.

RITUALS MAKE IT REAL. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Meaning = emotion = life. MASTER MEANING

Ex: God is punishing me v. God is challenging me v. I brought this on myself

Life happens for me. Not to me. – Tony Robbins

IF I GET ANGRY, THE OTHER PERSON WINS.

Have conversations from an uncharged place. Without defensiveness. – Sage Robbins

When I feel like I have to fight because I’m being attacked or something is not right. I can reframe that. I can smile slyly and say

Ah. A worthy opponent. – Tony Robbins

And our weaknesses are not the issue. We can hire people whose strengths are our weaknesses so we can focus on building our strengths. This was a big one for me. Acknowledge my weaknesses. Know them well, and know my strengths much more.

Consider the consequences of being angry and frustrated. My energy and my attention.

When in a low energy state, we tend to stack problems and negativity until it overwhelms us (Tony and his wife Sage said something like that)

Be aware of emotional stacking

I inhale until I find my inner coherence. Reset and step back in. (Sage Robbins)

I can stack the memories I love in my heart instead.

HAPPINESS IS POWER.

LOOK FOR WHAT IS RIGHT. Not what is wrong.

STOP FOCUSING ON HOW STRESSED YOU ARE AND FOCUS ON HOW BLESSED YOU ARE

Health is an abundance of energy. Not the absence of disease.

Consciousness is a measure of how much you care.

LOVE IS YOUR ESSENCE. – Tony Robbins

Love became so clear. I had heard others talk about how love is the most important thing in life. But I had been checking things off of my to-do lists trump love. That’s f*ing cray cray. Right? Can I dance with my “virtual villain” time? Is it in me to “radically eliminate hurry?”

Instead of making another to-do list, I can answer these questions:

  1. What is my desired outcome?
  2. What is my (massive) action plan?

And always consider my beliefs of extreme consequence. Will I be buried alive in tasks if I don’t check things off of my massive to do list? That’s absurd, but that’s what I believed. Life is too goddamn short for that shit.

The question I used to ask myself all day every day: How am I going to get all of this shit done?

Un.In.Spir.ing. Yes. Uninspiring. I created that garbage?

I can choose to see the fun and value of moments spent not doing what I planned.

The question I ask myself now: How can I have fun creating clarity and abundance for myself and others even more?

Now we’re talking. I used to value usefulness. Yes, usefulness. It was a virtue, but not one I really intentionally chose. It was a concept that kept me busy but not necessarily productive, impatient and irritated, and helped me judge others for being lazy. Wow.

The virtues that you want are already in you. You just don’t value them. – Tony Robbins

I traded usefulness for kindness. For fun, peace, and contribution. Those are now my values. Usefulness can go shove it.

SOMETIMES PROGRESS IS NOT KNOWING WHAT IS NEXT AND BEING OPEN TO THAT – Tony Robbins

When would now be a good time? – Tony Robbins

Valuing Feminine Energy

Tony talked a lot about feminine and masculine energy. He made distinctions between immature masculine that dominates like a tyrant king, and the mature masculine that serves like a king that loves and protects their people.

“We get paid for bringing value to the marketplace. It takes time,… but we get paid for the value, not the time.” ― Jim Rohn

And he talked about the immature feminine that uses seduction and demonstrates low self-confidence through gossiping, and the mature feminine that emanates confidence and empowers other women.

This was all new to me. As many women do in business, I have been feeding my masculine and discounting my feminine energy. We turn ourselves into masculine warriors so we can compete and do it all and lose touch with our softness.

The masculine is more easily pulled by a positive feminine state. – Tony Robbins

So many women are taught to never rely on a man. This leaves many women expressing a masculine state even when being feminine would be more fun and more true for them. And it leaves many men lonely and without meaning in their lives. Many more masculine people want to take care of others. They want others to rely on them.

Belly dance has been a medium for my feminine expression since I started dancing in 2000. It opens my heart. It’s another way for me to love the little girl inside me and give her the freedom to play dress up and dance around. For me, it’s all about spreading my wings and feeling beautiful. Dance weeds out the divisive elements of life because we see each other and start to move together.

Belly dance has given my muscles memories like paints. I mix the colors in my heart with the music I hear and create a picture that expands into everything the instant it comes out of me. It is not an outfit or makeup that I can remove. It is spirit. I am tired of people feeling like shit in their bodies, unconnected to their core. Dance enhances our essence. And when we dance, it gives others the permission to dance. This fills dance floors. Be that person who open the space for others to dance. Knock on the door of the divine feminine and invite her to party.

“If self doubt and debilitating meanings keep playing in your head, it’s only because you haven’t turned them off. Turn them off.” – Alicia Free

“My life is about lighting you up” – An attendee said this to his partner in front of everyone, and it was so beautiful.

Make your move! Say yes. – Tony Robbins

When my father passed away, I started becoming more masculine. Then we started buying real estate and operating our own business, and I went straight up warrior for a while except when I was dancing.

I have beat myself up for doing multiple things at the same time. For trying to do to much instead of focusing on one goal. But there is value in this diffused feminine awareness. We can see and feel so much more than single focus masculine energy. This may not be valued as much as masculine energy in business and politics in the US, but that doesn’t mean it is a lesser energy in any way.

Realizing this puts me in a position to choose whether I want to express my masculine or feminine energy depending on the situation. What freedom! I can be a badass at making money and also be vulnerable and nurturing. It’s my choice.

After making this distinction, I saw a couple walking down the hall holding hands. The woman was so feminine, and I could feel her power. I loved it. When I woke up the next morning I took a photo of my butt because my underwear said “PARTY ALL NIGHT” and my butt looked awesome in it. It had taken me entirely too long to be open to the power of my feminine energy.

Getting Real with my Relationship

We have two friends who met at Date with Destiny years ago. They are married now with a child, and one of them mentioned that Relationship Night was their favorite. Sounds juicy. So who is going to show up in my relationship today and everyday?

I realized that I was being an accountant in our relationship. I was keeping score. That doesn’t work. There is no generosity there. That is not love.

Unconscious whoring is when we think we’re giving but we’re really giving to get something back. It’s a transaction. – Tony Robbins

NEVER threaten the relationship. It’s like putting a finger on the button to a nuclear weapon. – Tony Robbins

I realized I want to treat my husband like an executive just because it will make him feel powerful. And I want him to feel powerful. I want to cultivate a love that our children will want in their own lives. A legacy of love.

Women need a reason to make love. Men just need a place. – Tony Robbins

We did an exercise where we remembered the beginning of our relationship. Newness, exciting, secret, focused. There was only us. Gentleness, anticipation, playfulness, surprise, stubble, walls, zipping tent windows shut, smiles, eyes sliding closed, screaming, the peace on his face. The certainty of skin, holding, flipping. Going wild on a couch, at festivals, at Date with Destiny.

Give so much that your parter becomes your raving fan – Tony Robbins

I reconnected with my desire to initiate. To let go of my thoughts. Enjoy the ritual of smelling him. Telling him what I love about him. Talking about when we first met.

I wrote my husband a love letter. I realized I have never done that before. Now we will write each other love letters every year for our anniversary.

Writing a love letter to my husband and watching him read it was one of the most beautiful things we have ever done together.

I wrote relationship goals: Feed the fires in each other with 100% attention. Be spontaneous, playful, and open. Make my husband my hero, my king. Giving freedom always. Replace criticism with appreciation, honoring all he is. Habitually take responsibility for my negativity in the moment. Make each bed a temple of passion and generosity. Savor pleasure. Inspire others to love without limits.

And the trainer Scott told us about the princess book he keeps on his desk. When he learns something new about his wife, he writes it in the princess book.

So sweet. So my husband made me a princess book. And I started a prince book for him. I realized many things as soon as I started writing them down:

  1. When my husband uses numbers, he’s not necessarily expressing a fact. He’s expressing how something feels to him.
  2. Sometimes when it sounds like my husband asks me a question he’s actually just asking himself a question out loud.
  3. My husband often leaves dishes unwashed and laundry on the bed and doesn’t finish packing our son’s bag before we leave, and he’s not doing it on purpose. An completion is my value, not his. I decide if something is incomplete, and I decide what that means and how I respond to that. I can respond playfully and with love.
  4. My husband plays with our son when we are trying to leave instead of getting ready because our son’s face is so damn cute and he loves playing with his father. And when our son is 12, he won’t want to be on his father’s lap snuggling him. My husband is being in the moment, and it’s beautiful.
  5. My husband does not zip up his fly every time he goes to the bathroom or gets dressed. He has no ill intent. It’s actually kind of funny.

That’s another great practice that will help me be playful with my own silly expectations and see how I can restructure them in order to feel even more love.

Letting Go

We did an exercise where we thought of something we are ashamed of. Something we did that we haven’t told anyone…and we let it go. A whole room of 5000 people letting go of something we each decided was a horrible and retched part of our past. There was almost a color to it. The sound of it all was disgusting. Like extreme purging. When I worked through it, I realized something amazing. I got grateful.

I am so grateful that what I let go of wasn’t worse. And grateful that I’ve grown so much since then. And I forgive myself for being so foolish and seeking superficial attention. I understand both sides now. I forgive everyone who was there.

4th level: Loving those that hurt you. – Tony Robbins

Who do I blame for my struggles? Who do I blame for who I am? I can now write a letter thanking them with no intention to make them feel bad or teach them a lesson. They taught me so much.

There is nothing here that can’t be healed and released.

EVERYONE’S LIFE IS EITHER AN EXAMPLE OR WARNING – Tony Robbins

“Some people have everything and do nothing. I have nothing and I do everything” – said by a Brazilian attendee born without arms or legs. He’s a drummer, he surfs, he skateboards…

Parenting

I learned about parenting. About our patterns of speech and how they impact our children.

Children can tell when we are acting from our heart or our minds.

SELF ESTEEM DOESN’T COME FROM WORDS. IT COMES FROM RESULTS.

Tony says we can remember that when we talk to our kids. They’re not the best or the cutest or the smartest because we say so. How is that really going to help them once we’re not there cheering them on? They are amazing because they rise up and serve others. Because they love and grow.

Certainty is that you are sure about the way something is. The person who is most certain will influence.

I want to be an oasis of clarity for my family.

Honor the child that is in me

Push comes from pain. Pull comes from love.

Realize there is a difference between POSITIONING and AUTHENTICITY

Let people cry. Sometimes crying completes the stress cycle.

In the end we keep what we give and lose what we keep – Tony Robbins

Bringing in the Love

At Date with Destiny, I decided that getting shit done is not what feeds me. It’s love. It’s playfulness. It’s easy. We made new rules for our lives. Here is what I decided:

I experience LOVE & WARMTH anytime I am loving, or kind to myself or others, or feel the love I always have in my heart, or see love in others

I experience HEALTH & VITALITY anytime I express positive energy, or move through negative emotions, or eat whole food, or move my body with joy, or grow stronger

I experience FUN & HAPPINESS anytime I smile, or laugh enjoy what I am doing, or remember the happiness I always have in my heart, or move past frustration, or achieve a goal

I experience SERVICE & CONTRIBUTION anytime I make something better, or help someone, or create, or take care of myself or another being

I experience GRATITUDE anytime I pause to see how amazing life is, or say “Thank you”, or wake up, or take a breath with awareness

I experience INTELLIGENCE & CLARITY anytime I honor design and flow, or understand another being, or open up to what is, or gain awareness, or learn and grow, or shift from a low energy state to a high energy state

Telling Righteousness to Get the Hell Out of my Life

You know those jokes about vegans being so righteous and in your face? Yeah. I’m vegan. Not strict, but strict enough that I would look at what other people were eating and think what I was eating was better for the world. Yup. That’s how I was thinking. And it had been costing me love, fun, service, gratitude, and intelligence. Basically all of the things that I now value.

I even realized that I have judged people who don’t see God in the trees, flowers and sky.

We did an exercise where we chose a habit that has been costing us a lot. At first I chose harshness. But as I started thinking about all the ways I have suffered and caused others suffering, righteousness rose to the top. Shit. It was time to deal with it.

I screamed so much I lost my voice.

Every single person has their own values. And that has NOTHING to do with my values. How could I keep imposing my values on others? How did that make people feel? How did that make my family feel? What did that say about me? Is that the person I wanted to be? Hell no. I’m not doing it anymore. It doesn’t work.

If I really want to love and serve others, I choose to honor their values and rules unconditionally. That is who I am.

I made a new rule that makes it difficult to feel bad and easy to love:

I would experience righteousness only if I were to consistently and inappropriately  judge others, or expect others to have my values, or fail to respect the values of others instead of remembering that everyone has their own rules. They are doing the best they can with what they have, and it’s not about me. 

And I made one about harshness too:

I would experience harshness only if I were to consistently and inappropriately treat people harshly. Instead I ask myself “How can I make this better?” and focus on what is good or going well.

And stress:

I would experience stress only if I were to consistently and inappropriately worry and be impatient. Instead, I respond with patience, clarity, peace, gratitude, and make it fun.

And frustration:

I would experience frustration only if I were to consistently and inappropriately focus on the illusion that there is something wrong or incomplete or imperfect. Instead I respect what is out of my control and celebrate how I can help and get clear on what is the difference that makes the difference

Right after I screamed until righteousness became deeply a painful experience for me, I went for a ride on a very tall escalator. I felt like I was flying, so I opened my arms like they were wings. I took a deep breath. I saw people carrying food that they just bought, on their way to eat it. I didn’t care what it was. I was just so grateful that they had food and hoped they would enjoy it. That was a very different feeling than the twisted default I had been living in.

Those rules are on my dresser, and I look at them every day. Soon they will be deeply embedded in my mind, and my actions will continue to make those rules real.

And when I feel myself defaulting into trying to fix someone, I can shift into growing myself instead. What can I learn? How can this make me a happier and more compassionate person?

Seeing My Father’s Ghost

My father died from cancer in 2009. I was having a hard time remembering my father before he got sick. I couldn’t remember his voice. He had been so healthy most of my life, but all that remained in my memory was the end of his life.

My father came back to stay during “The Blessing”.

My father came to Date with Destiny and stood in front of me. My eyes were closed, and I could see him there. This was not what the exercise was asking us to do, or anything I have ever experienced before. But it created an opening, and my father stepped in.

Then a stranger laid their hands on my head, and my father sat in my lap. He melted into me so I could wear his spirit and take him on our adventures. So he could play with his grandson and watch us grow. So he could taste new things and hold his wife and his son again. So he can help us build a house. So he can see more of the world and read new things and go to events like Date with Destiny with me.

Now I remember my dad healthy at our track meets. Giving us driving lessons, grocery shopping, visiting my dorm, riding an elephant in Thailand. The way he would wear Walmart jeans until they fell apart with sprayfoam all over them. The cheap glasses he would buy off of the rack. How he would call in the morning when I was still in bed and sweetly say “I didn’t wake you up did I?”. How he would glance at me in the back seat while he was driving. The pictures he drew for me and put in my lunch with submarine sandwiches that made my friends drool. His cheap lime concentrate cocktails. Him sweeping the garage. Throwing everything in the dumpster. Rolling under the car on a wooden bench, oil on his hands. The smell of the newspaper. His camera. His cookbooks. His leather jacket. Cooking stew and chicken French and sweet corn and applesauce. Homegrown tomatoes with Italian dressing. Vacuuming for mom. Going to church board and zoning board meetings. His mustache.

Now I can see eyes look back at me in the mirror and it brings me joy. Even my handwriting was more like his right after the blessing. His voice came out of my mouth. Thank you.

Remembering the Moment Before my Earliest Memory

In another exercise we were asked to think back to our earliest memory. Mine is of my mother getting a phone call that my 20 year old cousin Denny died in a car accident. She collapsed on my on her bed, weeping. This is my earliest memory. Then we were asked to remember the moment that came before our earliest memory. Huh. That moment was so different.

I remembered being with my mother in her room. Feeling her love. Then she got the call and it was probably the first time I felt the vulnerability of other living beings. My mother was holding in sadness, but also in gratitude. My brother and I were safe. My daddy was safe.

My parents spent so much time with my brother and I when we were little. They protected us. They love us so much. We are so blessed.

So what will I do with this new memory? I will spend more time with my mother. Really feeling her. Seeing her. Protecting her. Understanding her. Loving her. Being with her the way my father would have loved to be with her now. Just loving her. And spend time with my brother. Time is fleeting. Let’s walk in the the woods together. Eat together. Go to a movie. My brother and I decided take mom out on a date. Her dream date. And my father will be with us.

…On our way home we giggled all the way through the airports and flights. We looked around and asked “Why are all of these people so f*ing happy?”. The answer was clear. It was because we were so f*ing happy.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are weak. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world … As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson