Cure for Happiness
Secrets to a Stress Free Life
2017 Andrew Alexander
All rights reserved.
I wrote this book for you.
Have you ever loved someone so much that
you’d go to
any length to make sure
they are happy? You are that person and that’s why I wrote this
book for you, because life is short and you deserve to be happy.
I love you and I wish nothing more than
for you to be able to experience life the way you want to experience
Inner Calm in a Chaotic Life
“Shots fired!” dispatch shouted through the radio.
Flipping on the lights and sirens, we hi-tail our police cruiser
through the city streets at 95 miles per hour towards the active
shooter. Less than twenty seconds away from the scene, we hear
another officer scream through the radio in a panic,
“I need help. Right now! Step it up guys!”
The screams for help were muffled by the chaos and fighting in the
As our tires peel around the sharp corner at 50 miles per hour, we
see his patrol car surrounded by a crowd of violent teens dressed in
gang colors. My partner slams on the brakes, the tires burn to a
halt, and the car door flies open.
I draw my gun from the holster, size up the scene around me, and run
towards the chaos that is unfolding all around.
A gunshot rings off and the crowd screams in terror…
Six Months Earlier
We are lined up for roll call during the first week of the police
academy. It’s been three days and 25% of the recruit class has
already dropped out because they couldn’t handle the
The remaining 30 of us are lined up in formation and we’re
instructed to stand with our arms down to the sides with a blank
stare on our faces. We aren’t allowed to move a muscle, regardless
of what happens.
They do this to instill discipline in us.
Twenty minutes pass by and we are still waiting for the academy
instructors to come out from the building to our front.
Maybe they forgot about us?
The explosion of words came out of nowhere, right behind my ear, like
the shockwaves of an atomic bomb rippling through every cell in my
body. Myself and the rest of the class jump in shock and terror,
reacting to the chaos around us.
“CLASS!” Sergeant Moore screamed at the top of his lungs, with
the power of his voice alone causing one recruit to fall over onto
the pavement. “I gave you an order NOT to move! Get on the floor
and start doing pushups!”
The whole class reacted in terror and fear. All of us panicked while
trying to follow his orders as quickly as possible. The more we
panicked, the more stress we felt, and the more we lost control of
All of us, except for one of the recruits.
Jim was a former Army Lieutenant who spent two tours of duty in Iraq.
While the rest of the recruit class physically and emotionally
collapsed under the instructor’s words alone, Jim had a cool, calm,
and collected demeanor.
Regardless of how intense things were on the outside, he held his
cool on the inside.
Maintaining full control of his emotions.
How does he do it?
“Hey Jim, how do you manage to stay calm when all this stuff is
happing around you?” I asked him during one of our 15-minute
“What you need to know is that your emotional state is always
created and maintained from within”,
he said, continuing with his lesson.
Most people think that the things happening to them on the outside
are the cause of how they feel:
“The things you say annoy me.”
“The customers at work make me feel stressed.”
“My boss pisses me off.”
“Having to stand in front of the class makes me nervous.”
What most people don’t realize is that it’s not actually the
things outside of us that cause these emotions. Instead, it’s
actually something within ourselves.
When you learn how to tap into and harness this power, you will
realize that no matter how chaotic your life is, you are always in
control of how you feel.
Of course we all notice patterns in our lives (when X happens, I feel
Y) but there is a way to handle that, which I’ll teach you very
In those situations, 99% of people give up control, but when you tap
into this power, you’ll have a level of control of your life that
most people can’t even imagine.
Most people react to the things that happen outside of them.
Most people think other things have control over how they
Most people are emotionally unstable.
A strong label, but he was right.
If you want to deal with stress and anxiety in your life, You’ll
have to learn how to maintain control over and harness the power of
As future police officers, we have the duty and obligation to
maintain our emotions regardless of what happens to us.
When we are face to face with a man pointing a gun or knife at us,
we have to operate with calmness and clarity.
When we are in the middle of a riot or fight that is turning
violent, we have to maintain our collective calm.
When we get called to a man who abused a girl, we have to put our
emotions aside and act professionally.
Is it hard to do at first? Hell yeah. But when you learn to regain
control, you can still do the things you need to do in life, to get
you to where you want to go. The only difference is that you can do
so without the struggle it takes most people to get there.
“Don’t you think you have an advantage? You’ve been in the
military, led troops through a war zone, and you are already trained
for this.” I asked, thinking he had some type of ability that I
“What is the difference between my ability to control my emotions
and yours?” he asked.
I reacted the same way you guys did when I went through my basic
training in the Army. But the moment you learn this lesson, it is
like a flip of a switch.
You will no longer get stressed over the small things.
Whatever life throws your way; you’re equipped to handle it.
You can choose to be happy.
Regaining this ability is freeing.
But how do you do it?
Just by understanding this one lesson alone, the transformation
you’re already making in your life not only applies to your chosen
profession, but also carries over to all areas of your life.
Where most people get upset and stressed about the little things in
life, the lessons you are learning here today will provide you a
sense of inner calm.
No matter what happens in your life, you can handle anything.
After all, life is an emotional experience. We do our best to have
the experiences we enjoy having. Don’t we?
Going forward, embrace the chaos. Embrace the uncertainty. Embrace
the pain. We’ll have to push through a lot of things that happen to
us in life. You can’t control the things that happen to you, but
you can control how you respond to them.
By the time you finish your training, I’m confident that you’ll
be able to handle the stress and pressure just as well, if not better
than I can.
Our 15-minute break just ended and the moment Sgt. Moore came in the
room and ordered us to do more pushups, I forgot everything Jim told
me on that day.
The stress kicked in, and I dropped to the floor.
The gunshot rang out, the crowd screamed, and the scene is left in
While innocent bystanders are running away in fear and panic, my
partner and I run forward with a sense of calmness, clarity, and
confidence on the inside like Jim taught me how to do six months
We call for more backup and slowly regain control of the situation.
In this moment, there are no fears or worries getting in the way. We
are doing a job and we are doing it with clear focus.
We link up with the third officer on the scene who called for our
help. From there, we fight through an aggressive crowd, take down the
suspect, secure the weapon, and place the shooter in handcuffs.
Fortunately, nobody was severely injured in the chaos, the gunshot
went off into the air, and everybody is going home tonight.
While many of the people in the area were filled with fear and were
hiding, my partners and I looked at each other with the following
words left unspoken, “Just another day at the office.”
What changed since that first day at the police academy?
How is it that I once couldn’t handle myself when a training
instructor yelled at us to do pushups and now I can face a scene like
this without a thought in the world?
With the transition all of us made since that first day of training
to being completely calm and at peace in one of the most chaotic
situations one could imagine being in, I learned one thing:
You already have this same power to harness and maintain full control
of your emotions, but how do you unleash it?
That’s what this book will teach you.
The point of this story is not to say that we can control the things
that happen to us. It’s simply to allow you to realize a clear
There are things that happen outside of us.
There is the way we feel on the inside.
In this book, I will teach you how to create a positive emotional
experience in this life regardless of what happens on the outside.
Life is an emotional experience and you deserve to enjoy it.
I wish only the best for you.
What if this happy and stress-free life you’re searching for is
already inside of you?
What if instead of searching out there for happiness and
fulfillment, you begin looking in a slightly different direction? If
true happiness is already within, perhaps the only reason why you
don’t feel it as often as you would like is because something is
getting in the way.
When you look at things this way, it’s a lot easier to move some
blockages out of the way so you can unleash what you already have
than it is to search for something that’s missing.
I’m going to propose a new way of viewing things.
The White Light Theory
Imagine for a moment that you are this white light.
At your core, you are this light at the end of a long dark tunnel
which shines happiness and positivity into the world. Before your
happiness is able to reach the surface, you have to shine through a
lot of things which have been clogging up this tunnel.
All of a sudden you have to navigate through a buildup of emotional
traumas, negative thoughts, and all the other stresses which have
built up over the years.
Before this feeling is able to reach the surface, too many things
have gotten in the way and it remains suppressed. Now instead of
trying to look for it on the outside, the only thing that you have to
do is release anything that has been getting in the way. Throughout
the pages in this book, I’ll show you how to do that.
To allow this to make more sense to you: Have you ever felt
happy, at peace, calm, relaxed, and stress-free (even once) in your
entire life? Simply the fact that you have experienced this emotion
at least once means that you already have it. This explains why you
can shine out from time to time.
The rest of the time:
These are simply things that get in the way.
The reason I propose this way of viewing things is because instead of
searching out there for the positive experiences you want to
have, you can begin searching in the direction where it is already
“Very little is needed to make a happy life;
It is all within yourself, in your way of thinking”
That quote by the famous Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius holds just as
true today as it did thousands of years ago when he said it.
What you’re about to learn in this book isn’t anything
cutting-edge or breakthrough. The lessons you’re about to learn are
timeless principles which have been around for thousands of years.
Take these principles to heart and you will be able to tap into this
inner calm and happiness so you can live that happy and stress-free
life whenever you desire.
Consider this book and the White Light Theory your shortcuts,
which will take years off of your search.
For years on end, I began searching out there for happiness
and fulfillment. From the moment we were born until the day that we
die, the world is constantly telling us what we need in order to be
They tell us we need all of these things before we can be happy.
We look up to these people who have all these things and their lives
seem to be perfect. We call them millionaires and celebrities. But
for the 99% of us who aren’t living like that, we look up to the
people who do and wish we could be like them.
“If I could only be like them, or have this thing, I could finally
be happy”, I always told myself.
When I started searching for happiness, I went on a chase. I began
chasing all these things outside of me in order to find it.
Even after reaching the other side of the fence, I still
wasn’t happy. No matter how much money I made or how many things I
bought, I was always searching for something more.
You’ve probably experienced something similar in your life:
Whenever you buy something new, you get a release of dopamine in your
brain and you feel that sensation of positive emotions flow
throughout your body. What happens after a few days? The temporary
high quickly fades away.
What you don’t know is that this is not true happiness. It is
simply a release of a chemical in your brain that provides you a
Before you know it, you’re back with how you’ve been feeling and
you continue to chase more.
I’ve spent years of my life searching for happiness on the outside
and I never found it. I’ve had my moments, but this true and
lasting happiness was never here to stay. It always seemed to leave
as quickly as it came.
Happiness through experiences.
Then I spent three months traveling the world.
It wasn’t until I was sitting in a hostel in Granada, Spain, about
to wrap up my first leg of travels when one person said something to
me which finally allowed me to find what I’ve been searching for.
Throughout the remainder of this book, I’m going to share with you
my personal accounts and stories on what it takes to be happy in this
Before we begin, I want to lead off with an exercise.
Living Your Dream Vacation
Can you remember a time when everything felt so perfect?
It’s like that feeling you get when you’re on the most amazing
vacation where everything is going right. What I would like you to do
is bring up a scene from that dream vacation in your mind.
Imagine that you are living it right now.
You’re enjoying the present moment, where all the thoughts
of the past or concerns of the future have simply melted away.
You’re living in complete peace and harmony, where the
stresses and anxieties of the real world are light-years away.
You’re feeling grateful for the life you have now, where
you don’t need anything more to feel fulfilled. You’re already
Everything is just so perfect, without a care in the world.
Step into that perfect scene, as if it’s happening right now. Feel
those feelings as if you are on that dream vacation right now.
Now, after you tap into those feelings, bring them back to the
present moment so you can carry them around with you everywhere you
Of course when you are in this picture-perfect vacation, you can feel
these emotions with ease. You are doing the things you want to do,
having the experiences you enjoy experiencing, and you’re
surrounded by the people you want to surround yourself with.
Back to the real world.
Now bring yourself back to the real world.
Finals are coming up for school, you’re working long hours at your
job, dealing with annoying customers, coworkers, friends, or family
members. The credit card bill, car loan, and mortgage payments are
due. Your car breaks down, you get sick. Your significant other
breaks up with you.
Think about all the things that are going on in your life right now.
In these instances, can you still feel those emotions as if you’re
on that dream vacation?
What if the answer could (and should) always be yes?
Just the fact that you were able to bring this feeling of living a
happy and stress-free life up to the surface at least once in your
life means that it’s already hidden deep down inside of you.
You simply have to release a few things that have been getting in the
way. This is a whole lot easier than trying to find something out
If you’re ready to start experiencing life to its fullest, and
enjoy the way you experience it, this is where your journey begins…
When I found myself telling the heroin junkie in front of the
Emergency Room to drag me inside if I lost consciousness, I realized
that I’ve made some poor choices in life.
It doesn’t help that it’s 2:30 in the morning somewhere on the
outskirts of Seattle and I’m thousands of miles away from my
closest friends and family.
The lessons I’m about to share with you are not from some textbook
I read in college or any happy-go-lucky personal development seminar.
Once again in my life, I f*cked things up and I had to learn my
lessons the hard way.
It is my hope that sharing this story allows you to learn from my
mistakes so you don’t face the same disastrous consequences that I
did. When you learn these lessons, no matter how bad things are on
the outside, you’ll be emotionally balanced to handle anything that
comes your way…on the inside.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been dealing with the normal
stresses and frustrations of everyday life. For the past three
decades, I’ve dealt with these emotions in very much the same way
most people do.
It wasn’t until this one fateful event where I found myself rushing
to the emergency room before I had to deal with the disastrous
consequences which were soon to follow the normal way of
handling our emotions.
This Disastrous Consequences of a Stress-Filled Life
It’s the Autumn of 2015 and the business I spent two years building
suddenly collapsed in front of my eyes. With the bank account
dwindling, the credit cards maxed out, and bills having to be paid,
my body became flooded with a wide array of negative emotions.
I tried to come up with some form of positive outlook on the
situation. No matter how hard I tried, I simply couldn’t find it.
It wasn’t until I woke up in the middle of the night rushing to the
emergency room with heart palpitations before I realized the way I’ve
been dealing with my emotions has been led me straight into one of
the darkest chapters of my life.
Do you know the scariest part of this all? When this happens to you,
you wouldn’t have even seen it coming.
Looking back, all of this could have been easily avoided if I knew
the things that I’m about to share with you today.
It actually wasn’t this one event which caused me to spend
the next five months of my life in and out of doctors’ offices. The
real reason I was facing these problems was because of the slow and
silent buildup of:
Stress & Anxiety
Anger & Frustration
Sadness & Grief
Fear & Regret
The list goes on.
Each and every one of us faces these things in our lives, but it’s
what we do when they are here which makes all of the
Rock Bottom Sets You Free
By the time January rolled around, I’ve reached an all-time low.
Dealing with health problems all winter, my productivity hit zero.
Lying face down in my bed most days, I didn’t have the drive or
motivation to advance my professional life. I covered up the sadness
with junk food, which ultimately led to gaining a lot of weight.
Exercise and relationships were non-existent.
At least I didn’t turn to alcohol or drugs.
I couldn’t bare for life to go on like this any longer, so I
decided to end it. I had to end the pain, the suffering, and
everything else that went along with it once and for all.
But not how you might expect…
After four doctors told me the physical health problems were caused
by stress and anxiety, the fifth doctor was the one who prescribed me
a bottle of anti-depressants.
When I looked at the label, it turned out the side effects of the
drug would potentially be worse than the symptoms I was facing. To
make matters even worse, if I stopped taking the drug too soon, one
of the side effects could even lead to death.
Faced with a decision, I held the unopened bottle of pills in one
hand. In the other hand, I stared at the emptiness and uncertainty of
what other options I had at the time (or lack-there-of).
This was the moment in my life where I decided to do something
All of a sudden a man appeared in my life telling me that he’s
walked this journey before. He found a healthier and permanent
solution after suffering in very-much the same way I did.
Years ago, I met him at a business conference where he told me that
his business went bankrupt during the 2008-2009 economic recession.
This man could relate to what I was going through with this buildup
of stress and sadness in his life, so I listened to what he had to
The man who’s walked this path before…
When the economic bubble burst, he lost everything he’s built up
over the years.
Having to declare bankruptcy, no creditors would lend him money for
new business ventures. For months on end he would stay in his room
and lay face-down on his bed, depressed about where life has led him.
He too was at a rock bottom, but he found a way out.
Eventually he grew tired of living this stressed-out life and he
mustered up the motivation to search for another way. Getting back up
on his feet and regaining control, he embarked on a journey learning
how to manage the emotions he was facing.
After all, that’s all they are. Emotions floating through your
body. There has to be a way to regain control of them, isn’t there?
He decided to do whatever he can to find out how to live a happy and
stress-free life. Through self-education, trial and error, and
learning many of these lessons the hard way, he eventually broke free
from his depression and quickly released this buildup of stress.
But after he found the answers, something else happened to him…
Not only did he go on to rebuild his personal and professional life
to new and greater heights, but all of those little things which used
to get on his nerves suddenly didn’t bother him anymore. Compared
to that rock-bottom he faced, the lessons he learned on this journey
turned him into the type of person who is now emotionally equipped to
After learning these things, he is even better off than he
He now ventures through life in a Zen-like state with a flowing
stream of calmness and clarity, regardless of what life throws his
way. Even though he faces many of the same obstacles and struggles on
the outside, he now thrives off of them in ways most people never
could even imagine.
While he was going through the struggle and depression, it appeared
as if it was the worst time in his life. Inside of the chaos of the
storm, it sure felt that way. But when he looked back on the journey
he embarked on, this rock bottom in his life turned out to be the
very best thing that has ever happened to him.
This depression was the very thing that moved him to shift course and
propel him to this happy and stress-free life which we all dream of
How did he do it?
When the student is ready, the mentor appears.
If there was anybody in my life who could guide me through this
emotional struggle I’m facing, it’s this man in front of me right
For the next year of my life, I went on a journey to discover these
answers. Just like this man who has walked this path before me, I am
proud to say that I found it. I am excited to say that the lessons in
this book will help you find it too.
One year later: Emotionally Balanced
Exactly one year later from my rock bottom, I am facing a very
similar situation on the outside.
Only this time around, things are much worse.
November 2016 | Backpacking Across the World.
I’m homeless in the middle of some foreign country. All of my bank
cards are frozen. It’s 10:30 at night and the man I was staying
with just threw all of my belongings on the curb in in a fit of anger
My travel backpack.
Everything I owned was scattered in the middle of the street in a
very bad neighborhood. I had no access to money. To top it all off,
my cell phone service stopped working right after his rage-filled
text message came in.
I am two miles away from the apartment.
When I looked down at my phone, my date asked me if everything is ok.
Yes, all of this unfolded while I was a 40-minute walk away from the
apartment on a first date with a lovely Spanish girl.
“Yeah, everything is just perfect”, I said with a sarcastic tone
and smile on my face.
After I explained the situation, Cynthia offers to help me find my
way back to the apartment. At least she knew her way around the city.
As we are wandering around the streets in the middle of the night,
Cynthia says something to me, "How come you don't look stressed?
If this happened to me, I would be freaking out right now."
She was right.
Here I was, virtually homeless in a foreign country with no clue how
I'm going to get myself out of this mess and I wasn't stressed at
all. When I first got the message, the emotions began to come up, but
I quickly put what I learned over the past year to use. Surprisingly,
I’m actually kind of relaxed.
We joked and laughed for the entire walk back to gather my
belongings. She seemed more concerned than I was. I just had this
inner sense of calm that no matter how bad things were on the
outside, getting stressed out about it wasn't going to help.
It is a very powerful feeling when you learn how to harness and take
control of your emotions, instead of letting them get the best of
We finally find our way back to the apartment. As soon as we turn the
corner, the guy I was staying with looks as if he is in some type of
"Stand back and get ready to call the police in case he does
something", I say to Cynthia, as I walk towards the front door.
Apparently the rent check I wrote in U.S. dollars would result in a
lot of fees from his bank. Angered by this one little mistake, he let
his anger take over.
Losing control of his actions.
I walk over to my bag and write him a second check to cover any fees
he might incur; I hand it to him, and ask him if anything else of
mine is still in the house.
"You fu*ked me over with the check”, he slurred in some
drunken half-English accent. “Good luck trying to get your laptop
and passport back. That’s in my room and there’s no chance you’re
getting through this door."
Without my laptop, I wouldn’t be able to fix my bank cards, I
wouldn’t be able to work out my cell phone service, and I wouldn’t
be able to get out of this mess. Without my passport, I would be
screwed. Feeling the emotions come up, I decide to put what I learned
over this past year to use and take control of the situation.
"I'll exchange your house key for the rest of my things", I
calmly said to him as a look of terror filled his face.
Of course he wouldn't want me to have the key to his house after what
he did. I honestly would have just thrown it away, but this was able
to calm him down enough to get my things before he slammed the door
in my face.
I laughed to myself as I packed everything back into my travel
backpack, noticing something was missing. With a confused look on my
face as I'm searching around my backpack, Cynthia asks me what's
I look up with a smile and ask her, "Do you have any toothpaste
at your apartment?"
“Oh, who said you were invited over?” she broke out laughing with
a smile to match mine as she snaps a photo of me and we walk away.
I share this story with you to demonstrate the transition both myself
and my mentor went through. In both instances I was out of money and
facing a stressful situation on the outside. While it led to an
eventual breakdown the first time around, the lessons I learned
allowed me to prevent that from happening again.
After these transformations you are about to make, you’ll not only
prevent that from happening to you the first time, but you’ll end
this section with a special gift. You’ll learn how to tap into a
special power that not many people in this world even know exists.
If you are ready to shift course to a happier and stress-free life,
consider this book your map and flashlight, leading you to a balanced
and brighter future.
Suppressing Your Emotions
For as long as I can remember, I've been (unknowingly) turning my
body into a pressure cooker.
The reason I suffered from heart palpitations, night sweats, and a
wide array of other health problems is because I always bottled up my
emotions. I would push them down for years on end, hiding from them,
and I would never let them out.
I would vent from time to time, but the pressure eventually built up
to the point where everything was about to explode.
And it did.
The doctors said I was lucky because they’ve see many other people
do the same thing and suffer even more disastrous consequences such
as having a fatal stroke or a heart attack.
But why do we do it?
Why do we resist facing these negative emotions in the first place?
Are they actually negative, or is it something else? For me, I later
discovered why I spent years suppressing them.
Hiding away from the pain and suffering was very convenient at first.
I didn’t want to face the stresses in my life so I pushed them down
into the subconscious. When I was about to get angry or frustrated at
something, I would bottle it up. Doing this was a quick and easy
solution to my problems.
Let’s paint a picture:
Imagine that you’re about to go on vacation and it’s time to pack
your suitcase. For the first few items you put in, they are quickly
out of sight and out of mind.
When you continue to pack your suitcase with one item after another,
it eventually builds up to the point where nothing else can fit. All
of a sudden when you try to squeeze in that one last piece of
clothing, it will have already reached its limit.
You try to stuff it down, but when you do that, the zipper rips off
and clothes go flying everywhere.
After years of doing this, my body turned not into a suitcase, but a
full-blown pressure cooker which couldn’t handle any more stress.
The scariest part is that when it explodes, you wouldn’t have even
seen it coming.
When the pressure reached its limit, the years of emotional buildup
came rushing to the surface. Imagine a car that crashes into a fire
hydrant and the water comes shooting out to the surface
uncontrollably, in infinite quantities.
This release came in the form of serious health problems.
First, I began to experience night sweats. Of course, starting to get
night sweats out of nowhere caused a lot of anxiety because I didn’t
know why they started. My mind automatically thought of the
worst-case scenarios. I took to the internet to search what the
symptoms meant, and at one point I was convinced I had a brain tumor.
Doing what has always worked for me in the past, I did my best to
suppress this anxiety and fear. The only problem is that they had no
place left to go. I stuffed them down into an already-filled suitcase
and this is when the heart palpitations began.
The more I tried to hold back the stress and anxiety, the faster
everything began to rush up to the surface. It’s like plugging one
leak at the surface and seeing things quickly shoot out of another.
My face began turning red, my breathing started getting difficult,
and eventually…it happened.
That was the second night I spent rushing to the emergency room at
2:00 in the morning.
The very first lesson you should learn when it comes to facing these
emotions is that you should never push them down by hiding from them.
Equally important, you should never bottle them up.
It wasn’t only the (so-called) negative emotions which I struggled
with. I was never one to put myself out there or speak my mind.
I didn't want to show my weaknesses on the outside.
I didn't want to expose my flaws.
I didn't want to let my emotions out for anybody else to see.
I didn’t want to be judged or ridiculed by others.
When we put ourselves out there and speak our mind, other people
resist our opinion or judge us. As a defense mechanism, I decided not
to let myself out anymore. The external judgment finally went away
when I did this, but the buildup began.
If I was attracted to someone, I never let the emotions flow out
because I feared rejection. They continued to build up…
I've always been told that showing my emotions was a sign of
weakness. “Stop being a crybaby”, they say to you by the time you
reach elementary school. The world has trained us to go against our
natural instincts of expressing ourselves, but at what expense?
For me, the problem was suppressing, bottling up, and holding back my
emotions. What if you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum?
Letting your emotions take control of you.
I never wanted to turn into one of those people who loses their cool
and has an explosion on the outside. Instead of bottling up your
emotions like I did, maybe you never hold back and let your anger or
frustration get the best of you.
Some small (or large) thing causes you to snap and you take it out on
others. You easily lose your balance.
The emotions you let out of yourself into the world is like a
high-pressured fire hose which is spraying out of control. It flies
in every possible direction uncontrollably. Without a team of five
firefighters to control it, things quickly turn for the worst.
Knowing what I know at this stage of my journey left me with a sense
What exactly am I supposed to do?
This was the question I asked myself when I decided to embark on a
journey in search for an answer. In the introduction of this chapter,
I said that Rock Bottom Sets You Free. I’ve reached a low
point in my life and I decided to do something drastic.
At this point, things felt like they couldn’t get any worse, so I
have to do something…anything.
I needed a change of scenery.
I managed to muster up enough motivation to pack my car and drive
halfway across the country in search for the answer. It wasn’t
until after I took this leap of faith into the unknown before
I found the answers I was looking for.
In eastern philosophies, they say all suffering comes from
The Yin and the Yang – Without darkness, there is no light.
Sadness is simply a measurement of happiness. Do you ever notice how
great you feel after you recover from a sickness? Or how amazing
spring feels after a long cold winter? Not everything is supposed to
“go right”. The pain you feel is simply a unit of measurement for
the great things that are about to come.
But what if there was a way to release the pain and suffering
After a long, dark winter…
As I drive along highway 36 towards the foothills of the Rocky
Mountains, I make my way towards the small peaceful city of Boulder,
It’s early February and a fresh coating of snow blankets the entire
landscape. The beauty in front of me would leave any photographer in
I pull off to a scenic overview just outside of the city, allowing me
to witness one of the most beautiful sights I could ever imagine. To
the west are the snow-capped mountains standing high above the city.
Hikers and outdoor enthusiasts are enjoying every ounce of this
beautiful and relaxing paradise. The rest of the landscape is made up
of snow-covered plains stretching infinitely into the horizon.
A cool and steady wind can be heard blowing down from the mountains
through the thousands of fresh pine trees which stretch into the
plains. I take a deep breath in and instantly experience a wave of
relaxation blanket my entire body.
Everything is just so calm, peaceful, and relaxed.
I’m excited to learn that the next life-altering lesson on my
journey is only a ten-minute drive away as I make my way down the
final stretch of the highway towards my destination.
This is one of those rare moments in life where everything just feels
The Zen Retreat
In Zen philosophies, they say all suffering comes from resistance.
When I threw the bottle of anti-depressants in the trash, I went on a
search for a natural solution. This is what led me to the city of
On a cool Sunday morning in early spring, I park my car outside of
the bed and breakfast on the corner of Arapahoe Avenue. As I take off
my shoes and make my way into the meditation room, a Zen master
greets me. This man has been practicing Buddhism for at least 20
While the rest of us who came to the group meditation wore jackets
and sweatshirts, he was dressed in a thin layer of karate pants and a
I asked the Zen-master, “How is it that Buddhists don’t feel the
What he said to me were the very first words that shifted my
experience in life forever.
“It’s not that we don’t feel the cold. It’s that we don’t
resist it. All suffering comes from resistance. We don’t put a
positive or negative label on it. The feeling you refer to as cold is
simply a sensation flowing throughout your body.” He instructed.
All suffering comes from resistance.
There is no good or bad, right or wrong, positive or negative.
There simply is…existence. Release the judgements, release the
resistance and the suffering ceases to exist.
He went on to explain that when you accept the sensation of
cold for being there and release the resistance, this is the first
step to releasing the pain so it is no longer a part of you. Even
before the sensation is released from your body, this acceptance has
already put an end to the suffering.
“Whatever you resist, persists.”
Imagine grabbing onto something really tight. The tighter your
squeeze, the more it’s going to remain in your hands. That
resistance to the sensation is just like your grip. The more you
resist something, the more it persists.
When you avoid things, you push them down in your
When you resist something, you resist bringing it up to the
surface and making room to let it go.
But when you accept them for being there and let go of this
resistance, this is when you begin to finally loosen your grip.
For me, this was a major breakthrough on my transformation because I
used to always have a positive or negative label on things. While one
feeling may be positive, the other might be negative. One thing may
be good, the other may be bad.
Through this Zen-philosophy, there is no good or bad.
You can’t have darkness without light.
You can’t have happiness without sadness.
You can’t have bliss without suffering.
All these sensations we feel in our bodies are two sides of the same
coin. One is simply a unit of measurement for the other, and we need
to experience both in our lives.
The Yin and the Yang.
Through the teachings of this Zen master, I learned to really tune
into whatever emotion I was feeling at the time. I paid attention to
where the emotion was being felt within my body, what it felt like,
what direction it was flowing, and how intense the emotion feels.
While holding these emotions at the surface, I keep them there with a
sense of acceptance that they are simply sensations flowing
through my body (whether I previously wanted them there or not). With
this acceptance, the suffering suddenly melts away.
Remember, all suffering comes from resistance.
Allow whatever pain or suffering to be held there for a moment, and
this acceptance of these sensations is the first step to loosening
your grip on them.
Summary of what you learned so far:
In the previous chapter, you learned two things.
If you’ve been suppressing emotions down, this only leads to the
bottling up of energy, and the pressure continues to build. Your
unconscious holds onto all of your emotions until you bring them up
to surface for release.
On the flip side, if you’ve been letting your anger or frustration
get the best of you, this leaves you out of control. Your emotions
control you and you are also emotionally unbalanced.
By feeling your emotions at the surface and accepting them to be
there, this sets the stage for the emotional control which we have
been searching for all along.
When you feel the emotions in their full effect, this brings them to
When you accept them for being there (instead of resisting them)
they remain at the surface so you can get ready to release them.
Remember, there are no positive or negative emotions. They are all
there for a reason and it is most-often the so-called “negative”
emotions which are the most useful after all.
In the next chapter, I’ll explain why your “negative” emotions
are there in the first place.
Your Emotional Compass
There is no safety net in the deep wilderness of the Colorado Rocky
With the nearest emergency services at least two hours away, if
something goes wrong out here, you’re on your own. One brush with
the wrong type of animal or one mistake will lead to you staring
death in the face.
Facing death in the wilderness.
Just as I turn the bend on some back-country trail, I find myself
standing face-to-face with one of the most dangerous predators in the
entire ecosystem. A mother moose trying to protect her children.
Eight hundred pounds of pure muscle, the moment this animal turns its
sights on you, there is no escape.
As the animal’s posture goes erect, showing signs that she’s
about to attack, my body is flooded with emotions. Every ounce of my
body is screaming to GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE.
She turns my way and begins to charge…
Lessons from three months earlier…
The words of the Zen master echoed through my mind, “It’s not
that we don’t feel the emotions, it’s that we don’t resist
Why are these emotions here?
While I had the stereotype that Buddhists could mediate and not feel
the cold if they were in the middle of Antarctica, that wasn’t
quite the case. Using the example of feeling cold, the man says that
by releasing this resistance to cold, he no longer suffers
The sensation was still there and he simply perceived it differently
than the rest of us. Why do we resist a lot of the things we feel?
Often times these sensations you feel are simply a message from your
body saying that something needs to change.
Listen to your emotions.
“If I were in the middle of the wilderness and it was sub-zero
temperatures, my limbs would begin to turn blue and I would freeze”,
the man continued with his lesson…
Either by design or by evolution, these sensations we feel flowing
through our bodies are there for a purpose. Our bodies are programmed
to send us emotions, not for any random reasons, but for a very
specific reason. These emotions are signals from our body that we
must listen to and learn from.
When I am standing outside in below-freezing temperatures and I feel
the sensation which you refer to as cold, this sensation is a message
from my body that I should seek refuge. In our caveman days, we would
find shelter or build a campfire. Today it means we should go inside
and get a jacket.
These emotions are actually messages from your body.
Your Emotional Compass
The fear, the stress, and the powerful emotions that flooded my body
caused me to go into full-on fight or flight mode.
If the moose began to attack, it would be a one hell of a fight. I
would use these emotions to fuel the defense of my life and those who
were on the hiking trail with me.
As the moose began running in our direction, we step to the side and
she runs off into the distance.
It was these emotions which told us to get out of the way.
I’m sure you’ve had experiences like this in your life where you
find yourself in a potentially dangerous situation and your emotions
go haywire. In these instances, it’s easy to recognize the message.
Your emotions are always speaking to you. Are you listening to them
the rest of the time when they are more discreet? After learning more
from my Zen master and my mentor, I began to listen to my emotions
and started the practice to always be learning from them.
Learn from your emotions.
Instead of the extreme flood of emotions in life-threatening
instances, we often don’t pay attention to the subtler emotions
which we feel in our lives. Until you get in tune with your emotions,
you may barely recognize them.
The emotions we feel on a regular basis are always there.
Each and every one of these emotions you feel has a message for you.
When you get in the practice of:
Accepting the sensations for being there,
Feeling them flow at the surface,
Listening to them, and
Learning from them.
You will start to realize that there really are no good or bad
emotions in your life. There simply is an emotional signal, or an
emotional compass which is pointing you in a certain direction. Often
times the emotions that you label as bad are there to demonstrate
that you need to make a change.
The emotions you refer to as good are there for a reason too and it’s
important to not get caught up in those as well. Feel them and
experience them, but...
Before moving forward on your journey, I want you to shift your
awareness towards what emotions you’re feeling in your life lately
and feel the message they are sending to you.
When you figure out what this message is, this will help you get
ready for what you’re about to do next.
You Have to Detach.
You have to remind yourself that life is an endless flow of energy
(emotions). Energy flows in and energy flows out. Often times we get
caught up in, and attached to, the emotions. When we do this, they
continue to build up inside of us.
Too much lust can lead to an unhealthy obsession.
Sadness builds up and turns into depression.
Love gets built up, but never gets let out.
You have to let it out.
We live in an abundant world with an endless flow of energy. While
you may want to hold onto certain emotions that feel good, it’s
important to get ready to let them go too because more of them are
destined to come.
Now that you listened to and learned from your emotions, it’s time
to detach from them and make way for their release. You do this by
separating yourself from the them.
Separate Yourself from Your Emotions
All too often when we feel these emotions build up within our bodies
for long enough, we actually think they are a part of us. We identify
as ‘a stressed-out person’ or ‘an angry person’ and we hold
onto these labels, tricking us into thinking they are a part of who
I don’t blame you for doing this because they feel so real.
But what if they are not a part of who you truly are and they are
just energy flowing through your body? By releasing this label and
self-identification, this helps pave the way for their eventual
Imagine that you’re in the passenger seat of a really fast sports
car. The out-of-control driver is revving up the engine and slams on
the accelerator. You’re immediately sucked to the back of your
seat, going in and out of traffic really fast, and all of a sudden
you’re going way too fast for comfort.
A car cuts you off and it’s too late to slam on the brakes. You’re
going too fast. The driver swerves and you skid out of control. At
100 miles per hour, you are now skidding sideways directly towards a
Feel the stress and fear of what is about to come…
When you’re caught up in your emotions, you are a part of them.
They are in control of you just like you are a part of that race car.
When they flood your system and you allow them to be a part of you,
you’re going along for a dangerous ride.
When you feel this adrenaline rush, you are convinced that your
emotions are a part of you. But if your emotions are a part of you,
that means they are forever here and you always feel them. But that’s
not the case. While you may feel certain ones more often than others,
they come and they go due to this natural separation.
When you exercise, you are letting these emotions detach from you.
When you take out your anger or frustration on something, these
emotions separate naturally. Yes, more may come, but those are new
ones, after you’ve gotten rid of the old.
This just goes to demonstrate they are not a part of you.
Instead, imagine that you are high up above the highway in a safe
location as you see that distant driver race in and out of traffic.
While the car is still speeding and racing, you’re not caught up in
the emotions because you’re detached from it.
This separation is freeing.
When you’re separate from your emotions, they no longer have a hold
on you. You are calm, cool, collected, and you allow them to flow.
What the Zen master taught me to do was visualize this separation. I
would simply view them as white specks of energy temporarily flowing
through my body in very much the same way the blood flows through my
It is visualizing and feeling their flow through the energetic
pathways which creates this separation.
Release any name or label attached to them.
Accept them for being there and truly feel acceptance,
Listen to them and learn what they are saying, and
Separate yourself from them.
You are ready to tap into one of the most powerful forces in this
entire universe. And that is exactly what you’ll learn how to do in
the very next chapter.
Harness Their Power & Release
An endless flow of energy.
I mentioned earlier that emotions are simply energy flowing
throughout your body.
When you strip away the names (stress, anxiety, love, fear,
frustration, joy) and the labels (good or bad, positive or negative),
you are left with an endless supply of energy flowing through your
What are you going to do with it?
In the past, you may have bottled it up. But where does this lead? A
buildup, a pressure cooker, and the disastrous health consequences
which will certainly follow.
Even if you don’t see the health problems coming, they are on their
What about letting it all out?
When you see people lose their temper, take their anger out on
others, or let their emotions get the best of them; they lose
This often leads to conflicts, attacks, and even landing many people
In either one of these circumstances, people don’t properly channel
and harness this powerful resource which is inside of them. So what
do you do with this energy instead?
A productive use of your energy.
Think of something you want to create or accomplish in this life.
What if instead of building this energy up and letting it spout out
in any which direction, you harness its power and let it flow in a
steady and controlled manner?
This energy is flowing through your body and it has to go somewhere.
If you can’t keep it contained within, there is only one direction
that it can go.
You’re going to have to let it out into the world.
You accept the emotions for being there, you feel their buildup and
their energy, you listen to them, you separate yourself from them,
and now it’s time to harness their true power.
Harnessing & Controlling the Flow of Energy
They say that some of the greatest minds in human history have
mastered the art of energy transmutation. If you’re not
familiar with the term transmutation, I’ll provide a simple
definition: The action of changing the state of something from one
form into another.
This is where you turn non-physical energy into physical greatness.
In spiritual circles, they say that deep inside of you is a limitless
supply of energy. This energy is flowing from some higher power
through your body and channeled out into the universe. When you tap
into this source, you have an endless flow of energy to fuel the
creation of anything you want to create in this life.
In a more practical sense, imagine a prize-fighter who is about to
throw a punch into his opponent. He builds up the energy inside of
his body, feels it at the surface, knows what he needs to do with it,
and harnesses the full-force of his power into the punch that he
With the energy built up and channeled through this punch, he knocks
out his opponent and wins the match.
These emotions you feel (regardless of what label you give them)
provide you this very same power. Imagine letting them out with the
narrow focus of a laser beam instead of a dimly lit floodlight.
How can you harness this power in your own life?
What passions or hobbies do you want to channel this energy into?
What do you want to create? Imagine how much you can accomplish when
you put these lessons to practice.
All of a sudden, those emotions you once thought where bad are the
very fuel to light the fire inside you to accomplish anything you
want to accomplish in this life.