Life Changing Event – Unleash the Power Within

Life changes; that’s why its fun

I had a life changing experience recently and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I attended the Tony Robbins event last month in Chicago land. I found out about Tony’s event thanks to a networking event here in Milwaukee. Katie Felten organized the Networking MKE event that included a guest appearance from one of the Tony Robbins trainers, Doug McGuirk.  The really great thing was that I managed to drag my husband Joe out to see Doug and he agreed that even though money is tight, we should attend together.

Now, money has been tight for quite a while and our relationship had suffered because of it. We also had a lot going on in our lives. I am the race director for a 15K road race which just happened to fall six days from the last day of the event. Not the best timing for taking four days off and being unavailable to my ‘normal world’ of computers and obligations. Either one of us could have used any number of excuses for why this event wasn’t a good idea. Lucky for me, I had a few close friends that had attended previous Tony Robbins events and they assured me this was just what I needed and it was well worth it.

The event was entitled Unleash the Power Within (UPW) and was attended by about 3,000 people from all around the world. People had many reasons for attending, but all included some variety of self improvement and growth. We spent 14 hour days in session. I have a pretty short attention span, so this was a challenge for me to stay awake and pay attention for that long. The speakers helped by encouraging techniques to break our patterns. One gentleman I encountered adeptly described the enthusiasm as “irrational exuberance”. I laughed pretty hard when he said that. It did seem silly when they asked the entire group to break out into a state of celebration including jumping around, hugging people, high fives, etc. I’m not a touchy-feely person, so this took me a little outside my comfort zone. What this did for us was instill the fact that we are as happy as we choose to be. If you sit around slumped in your chair, depressed, tired, etc…there’s pretty much no chance in hell that you will ever get anything done. If you break out of your pattern and start breathing (no kidding, try it) and also put yourself into the right mindset, you can accomplish anything you set your mind on.

We did a lot of work on identifying what was holding us back from being as successful as possible. Some of this was rather painful to stir up all the emotions involved in the process. We had to face our fears and identify our values and beliefs that were hindering our success.  Nobody likes to face their fears, but it is amazing that when you do face them, you can release them and not allow them to affect you negatively. This was very eye opening.

I came to a realization that some actions I had taken in the past had negatively affected other people, so I did everything I could to correct them right away. My goal is not inflict any pain or suffering on anyone. I think everyone deserves to be happy and successful. I will do whatever I can do to help.

In order to make all the right changes in your life you need the energy to be able to function at a high level. Day four was spent entirely on fostering health to fuel the change. Wow!!…is all I can say when we started going over all the chemicals and processed junk that most people put in their bodies daily. I was a heavy antacid user and had acid reflux and other maladies regularly. We talked about all the things that are toxic poison and cause you body to become acidic. I was definitely on the acid side of the scale. I have dome marathons in the past. During training I had been conditioned to ingest as many carbs as I could put down the hatch, for energy.  Bad idea! I was also a coffee junkie. I would regularly schedule networking one on one meetings and meet for coffee at all times of day…you can never have too much coffee, right J?

Tony challenged us to try a rather shocking meal modification for ten days and see how we felt. Many people had previously complained of fatigue, constipation, cramps, headaches, coughing, pain, etc. I was no different.  I regularly had stomach issues to deal with. Tony’s challenge included; NO meat, no dairy, no caffeine, no alcohol, no sugar, no processed white food (no carbs or packaged products) and no acidic foods. The plan did call for plenty of water, nuts, vegetables, fruit, olive oil, and high water content foods. The whole idea is that you want to avoid things that are not natural or will rot in your system before they digest. That was a real shocker to my system. I was ok with living on fish and veggies, but the lack of caffeine was a real bear. I had numerous days of headaches…which made me question if this was really a good idea. It was. After the headaches were over I swore to not go back to that addiction. I have not had a single cup of coffee since then. I found a great alternative is hot tea (herbal, non caffeinated).

My husband was very excited to try the 10 day challenge. I didn’t think he would make it, since his previous rule of thumb for meals was all meat and potatoes…and none of that icky green stuff. I can’t imagine either of us would have stuck to the challenge if we had attempted it alone. I made some kickin salads with olive oil and lemon dressing, fish tacos, hummus, ate loads of nuts, and more avocados and cukes than I could imagine. We tried to make it exciting, but we were honestly not thrilled about the restricted diet. Each day we would ask each other how we felt and shared our joy and accomplishments.  In the beginning I was thinking that I couldn’t wait to get past the 10 day point so I could go back to my old patterns of eating. As I started to feel healthier, I changed my tune. I think initially I was just bitchy from lack of caffeine.

At about the ten day mark was a Green Bay Packers game, at which we were hosting a tailgate party. Normally, this means all meat and booze. We made a few modifications to the normal menu and added a veggie tray and hummus to the menu. We both ate a decent amount of meat and other snacks and felt pretty crappy the next day. We went back to the modified eating plan right away. At a few other points in time we decided to try out an old staple like pizza. I don’t remember having such a bad stomach ache in the past. Maybe my body was previously accustomed to the trash I would feed it? After trying a few experiments like that we decided this was a good plan to stick to on a regular basis. I like feeling healthy and will try to encourage others to try the alkaline plan. I doubt they will be as motivated as we were after attending UPW.

In addition to having my husband with me, there were at least 10 people I knew in attendance at UPW. Most of them are friends that I met through networking in Milwaukee and online. One of the biggest treats was getting the chance to meet my friend (and fellow NEF Editor) Kaaren Douglas face to face. We have been good phone friends for awhile, but she is in LA and I’m in Milwaukee, WI. We now have a bond that is stronger than ever. I love having accountability buddies with whom I network. I appreciate my circle of friends, especially those who have shared such a life changing experience.

A new networking group has formed in Milwaukee for all the graduates of the Tony Robbins UPW event. They are calling it “Step Up” which is what they taught us to do…step up and take some action.

Happy Networking!

Karin Conway

NEF Editor

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