So I remember walking around Downtown Toronto, and I had this craving for sugar that came on and all I wanted to do was eat. All I wanted to do was run away. And I said, "No." Because I had resolved to make this point that whatever this thing was about food that I'd try to work on but, essentially, didn't fix, it was always there, I was just going to let it come. And I was going to face it, whatever it was. And I didn't know what it was and why I did these things, but I was going to face it. And I was going to deal with any level of suffering inside that I needed to. And I remember it was the first day and I was walking around Downtown Toronto, around the City Hall District. And it came, this intense darkness, this intense sadness that I didn't quite know where it came from or why it came. But it was just there, and I didn't need to know.
And it came, and it lasted… It seemed like it lasted for an eternity, this suffering. All I wanted to do was run away. I didn't know why it was there. I just knew that I felt bad, I felt sad, I felt alone, I felt scared, didn't know why. And I have all these skills as a hypnotist, [inaudible 00:10:51] change work for over 21 years. I could make them disappear. But I decided to face it. And it lasted, this darkness lasted for about 75 minutes, and I decided just to allow it to come over me. And all I wanted to do was run home, to be honest, and sit and rock in a corner. And I just let it come and I felt it, and I allowed myself to feel the suffering, to be taken into that dark place, to just feel it, to just accept it. Because I know one thing -- that emotions come so they can go.
And after 72 minutes, 75 minutes that seemed like an eternity, guess what? It just went. It just lifted. And this thing that I'd run from most of my life, that problem self-corrected there and then, just like that, this thing that I'd been running from, a suffering, a suffering that can be powerful in life. Now, there's a form of philosophy out there called "stoicism," and it's not a religion. Some people get it mixed up with religion. It's not. But it's a way of, basically, being almost emotionless to things that happen in your life. It's a way, almost every month, to experience things that you may be scared of, to realize they're not so scary. Whatever it is that you're scared of, poverty, maybe for a month, you sleep on the floor in your bedroom. If you're scared of going without food, you fast safely, safely -- remember I said that, "safely" -- for a couple of days each month.
Maybe you go a few hours, maybe you go for half a day without any liquid. Maybe you switch off all your electronical devices that you've been using to distract yourself, and you stop yourself from sleeping. And that thing that you've been running away from, that decision, you just sit there and you don't force it. You allow that decision, those things to come over you, and you just allow yourself to feel them. You think about misfortune. You allow yourself to experience it. Because sometimes in life, we're always in this place of being comfortable. We want to be comfortable, but when we're comfortable, we can't grow.
Comfort is the worst kind of slavery because you're always afraid that something or someone will take it away. But if you actually anticipate and you practice misfortune, the chance is that this loses the ability to disrupt even your life. Because emotions like anxiety and fears have their roots in uncertainty and rarely in experience. Anyone that's ever made a big bet on themselves knows how much energy both states can consume. The solution is to do something about that ignorance, making yourself familiar with things, worst-case scenarios. You're not afraid of them anymore. It starts to give you more control of your life.
So whether you want to call them "stoicisms" or just experiencing some misfortune, not programming your mind to have more negativity in your life, but we always… We're in this bubble of comfort that we'll fight tooth and nail to keep comfort in our life, even if it fundamentally leads to our downfall and not having the kind of joy and happiness that we have. Practice stoicism. Practice experiencing some misfortune in your life. Practice sleeping on your floor. Practice turn off all your electronical devices even. Practice going a day without electricity. Practice a couple of days, as long as it's healthy and safe, under a doctor's supervision -- obviously, I have to put that disclaimer out there -- fasting without any food, just some liquid.
Practice a couple of days without going and talking to anyone, without going outside the house, or going outside the house. Practice that thing that goes against your comfort zone, it takes you out of your comfort zone, to realize that thing that you've been running away from isn't nearly as scary as you think. For a period of time, it might be. But when you face it, even if that's just inside your head and, quite frankly, that's all we can do most of the time, then it starts to lose its control. And, yeah, it might take a few hours, a few minutes, a few days of being uncomfortable. But you're there and you face it, and you realize that it doesn't matter what life does to you. You can go days without eating.
I was watching a movie yesterday about these people who got stranded on a mountain, and they were scared about running out of food. But the fact of the matter is, scientifically, you can go a couple of months without having any ill effects without going with any food, or at least a month. Okay? At least a month without having any ill effects. But we believe we've got to eat all the time because we're comfortable. We're comfortable living in our own misery most of the time, where it's not quite painful enough in order for us to change. But it's certainly not anywhere near the kind of glory and happiness that we want in our life. Sometimes we've got to face these things to realize they're just wolves in sheep's clothing. Or sometimes they are wolves, but guess what? Those wolves come so they can go.
I want to share a little poem, a little prose, if you will, that kind of illustrates this for you right now. "After the hit, everything goes black. I know I didn't feel anything. You know nothing, no pain, nothing. And then don't ask me how, all of a sudden, I'm out of my body and I'm looking down from the ceiling, and I saw blood all over my face. And then the next split second, I'm not in the restaurant anymore. I'm not any place I'd ever been. I'm standing on this shoreline and out in front of me is the ocean. Only it's not water, it's fire, and it's the most terrible thing that I've ever seen in my whole life. And don't tell me, 'It's just a dream.' I know the difference. I remember everything, every detail, every moment from that second on.
And in front of me is this rolling ocean of fire, as far as I can see, empty as nobody in it. And I look around and all along the shore, there are thousands and thousands of people standing there, staring like I was. And I see this guy that I know. We worked together a long time ago. We were partners. He was killed in a wreck. Well, we recognized each other, but we didn't talk. I mean, nobody talked. We just stood there. And I saw more people and I thought, "Oh, God." I saw people that I'd hit, people that I'd sent there, and you know I was sorry. But it was too late because I knew we were in a prison that was going to last forever.
And, you know, I remember right there at that moment, if only somebody had told me about this, I'd have done anything not to have come here, anything. Then, there's this man that walks by and he's got this face, a strong face. But it was also full of kindness, and he wasn't afraid of anything. And I remember thinking, 'If he would just look at me, just look my way, see me, he'd get me out of here. He'd know what to do.' But I just couldn't get his attention because I couldn't move. But then, just before he was out of sight, he turned around and he looked my way, and that was it. That's all it took. Then, I'm back in my body and I opened my eyes."
Open your eyes. See what's there. See that it's just a wolf in sheep's clothing. Or perhaps it is a wolf, but that wolf comes so that wolf can go. Stop running away from your fears. Stop running away from positive suffering. Embrace your life. Embrace your fears. Embrace fasting. Embrace sitting down in a dark room with no electricity, not to fall asleep, but just being, just feeling what's going on. Embrace switching off all of your social media. Embrace being enough. Embrace the feeling that you're not enough. Embrace it. Because it comes so it can go. Just as soon as it can come is as soon as it can go.
That thing that you were so scared of, oftentimes, that monster under the bed or that monster in the closet, when you open the door in your closet, when you look under your bed, you realize it was just a shirt, it was just a t-shirt, it was just a shadow, it was just an illusion. I'd like to finish off today as I like to do with these podcasts, with a warrior's prayer. "We face dire challenge and chance. Our life, our way of life, it hangs in the balance, a fragile glass ceiling. A fragile glass standing on a wire high above the asphalt, and as we pray for what? For not one drop of rain under an overcast smile or overcast sky. And yet I smile. We will fight and we will bleed. And yet I smile.
We shall face men, some cowered in their roles by circumstances, some desperate murderers thrilled by blood. We shall end them all, as is our charge this day, as is our sorrow, and yet I smile. We will leave our loved ones to traverse a dangerous road, rushing out of peace in the war. And yet I smile. For we will mine glory from the wrath of struggle this day. We will honor and protect this bastion in a land of dead, and we will win. You trust the king -- we will win. And I smile and I laugh, and I rejoice this day. For on this day, we are joined in purpose and vision. We are of a singular heart and mind. On this day, we are one. We are one. We are one. We are one