So, symbol are symbols. Well, symbols are anything, anything that represent something else to you. They're almost like a normalization of a process, if you will, to use an LP terminology. What do I mean by that? Now, if you are religious, then you are a Christian, and you have a cross, then when you see that cross it reminds you of a lot of things. Some empowering, potentially some disempowering. But you just see the cross, you know what it means. From my Jewish listeners, when you see the Star of David, it means something to you that ideally empowers you. For other people when they see the symbol of a Swastika which, interestingly enough, before Hitler and the Nazi used that as a symbol of hate and their fear, it was actually an ancient symbol when it was the other way around of peace and harmony but a lot of people don't realize that.
So, two types of people are going to see a Swastika, one very destructive and negative and to some people very positive, very, very peace orientated. To some people that symbol might be an item of jewelry that they wear around their necklace, or around their wrist, or potentially on their fingers like a ring. They may see it...it just may remember them...remind them of when they got married, or a wedding ring is really, is a symbol. It's a symbol of unity, it's a symbol of love with your partner. That ring you're looking at, it reminds you that you've got this great partnership, this loving partnership that you're in love and they've got this bond, it's a symbol.
Symbols are all around us and are a metaphor, this one is basically frozen in time if you are normalization of something that when you see it, ideally, good symbols will motivate you and inspire you to do good work on yourself and other people. Negative symbols, and there are many out there, will inspire you in the wrong way to do not so good things. And today's podcast is about the good things. Symbols can also be tattoos. They can be tattoos that you have that mean something to you that empowers you. I'm going to share some of my symbols with you today and I urge you to look at your own symbols in life, clear up any negative ones you might have and make sure you have these positive ones to get you through the day and keep you on path, to keep you on track. To identify those, if you don't already have them and if do have them to identify them, if you don't have them go out and get some symbols to help to keep you on your path.
So, my first symbol I'll share with you and there are some videos of this. If you ever seen me live or in any of my videos, you'll see that I have what appears to be sex written on my wrist. It's not sex, it's S with a big X and an E, what it means is straight edge. What straight edge is, is for me growing up I had a bad...still does drink and smoke way too much. And I made a conscious decision, a very young age to not go down that path. And I think I've drank less than five times in my life and haven't had any alcohol for about 20 years now. And I'm not here to judge people who do drink alcohol, "Don't drink alcohol." If you want to drink alcohol, and you're cool with it, and your life's great, continue to do it. I'm not here to say you need to be straight edge and say, "I am better than you."
Although, CM Punk is but he's straight edge reminds me that I lived this lifestyle that at a time when I was young it was the cool life to lead. But I'd fallen into this because I did not want to replicate stuff that my dad was doing and have that lifestyle in my life. And it always reminded me that I chose to go down a very different path and it would've been very easy if we believe that, you know, it is inherent in families that if somebody is addicted, an elder, a parent, a caregiver that you're more inclined to be addicted. I chose to throw that one out of the window very, very early on in life. So, straight edge means that to me. And I didn't realize about the term straight edge which is actually, it comes from punk music which was what happened in the early '90s is under-aged kids would go to music punk-rock festivals, punk-rock bars, and they were allowed to go into these bars. But what the barkeep would do or the bouncers, they would take a Sharpie, permanent marker, and draw and X on the back of their hand which would simulate to the barkeep to not serve them any alcohol because they were under-aged. And this spawned a whole movement of youngsters being able to go to punk-rock music to enjoy it but not to drink alcohol.
A whole movement came out of this, so really be able to enjoy of music, enjoy punk music but to be able to do it in a sober state without any drinks and making that choice and it being a cool thing. And it got bought over to me that one of my favorite wrestlers was Jack Brooks CM Punk and he'd be talking about this straight edge thing and then, I realized, "Hey, I've been living my life straight edge, pretty much my whole life before I knew it was a thing." And so, that's one of the symbols I have of straight edge.
I have multiple tattoos on me that symbolize "The Matrix" which is certainly one of my top three movies. I have the red pill, I have the blue pill, I have the Matrix plug on the back of my neck, and I have the Matrix green writing going down my forearm. What that is is oftentimes when I attempt to tell people what I do, I've brought it down to, "I help people unplugged from the Matrix." So, the red pill and the blue pill is essentially, if you've seen the movie and I have this tattooed on my lower wrist, as well to the side. It's the red pill is true fix, even though you may not like the truth or being given the truth. The red pill the truth, and seen the world, and seen yourself for who you are, versus the blue pill which is you can continue to become comfortable and not see your problems but they're there. And you know they're in the background but you're choosing never to face up to them. And you're choosing a life of being comfortable and going along to get along like sheeple, as opposed to being honest with yourself. And the war, taking that red pill even though it may be uncomfortable at times.
That's what it means to me, it's what the symbol means to me. Empowers me in my work and my relationships with people. The plug at the back of my neck is to remind myself to become unplugged. I'm not part of the machine, I'm going down a different path. I choose to unplug, I choose to go down this path to heal people, to help people, to inspire people, to become even more than they believe they can become. That they have the power to overcome anything in their life, that's what the plug was made. It's about throwing away social media and it's about not being influenced by all these negative sound. All these sounds are out there that are trying to control us, to make us feel not so good about ourselves, and we don't have these many fans or I only have this many likes in my Instagram, or our Facebook posts, or we only have these many followers on Twitter. And media is real and everything but we read in newspapers, or we see on TV is absolutely real. We know it's bullshit.
Now, it reminds me that the world is essentially just an illusion. It's just an illusion. You can choose an illusion of things as successful and the world is a good place or the world is a negative place and you're just a fucking loser. You can choose, they're both essentially a hallucination. They're not necessarily real, it depends on what perspective you're looking at. But it reminds me of my own perspective and to walk off to a beat of a different drama, to go the opposite way that most people do, to leave a trail behind for other people to follow and become empowered. I have the, "Always believe," tattooed on me and if you've ever received an email from me or I sign out from these podcast's, I'll say, "Always believe." Again, it comes from being inspired by my favorite wrestler growing up. A guy called, The Ultimate Warrior and I've talked about him before in videos ad nauseam. But his phrase was, "Always believe," it wasn't about believing in him, God, or anyone else. As my "Always believe" is not about believing in me, that I am great, that I am magnificent, that I am your guru. It's not about believing in that, it's about believing in yourself, inspiring yourself to always believe that you have the power to overcome everything.
That's why I end my emails, sign off the ways, why I've signed off this podcast's, what's written on my arm to remind me of these things. Another symbol I have on the opposite forearm to "Always believe" is "Unbreakable." Yes, it's one of my favorite movies with Bruce Willis, an M. Night Shyamalan movie that they're going to be making a sequel to soon. It's actually a superhero movie but you don't realize it's a superhero movie until the end. Sorry, I should've said spoiler first but the movie has been out about 18 years now. So, I think the deadline for that is done.
Unbreakable is for me, is about becoming unbreakable in my character and my personality. No matter what the world throws at me, whatever the world says I should be or conform to, it's about being unbreakable in my beliefs and what I think I should do in my character. And in part in that upon the people that I love and the people that hire me to help them to become unbreakable in their own life. To help people to discover the superhero that's been hidden inside that you don't find until the last scene in the movie. It's about helping people find that unbreakable character who living in themselves, way before the last scene of them moving their life to find out as soon as possible so they can start to live that superhero lifestyle.
On my left elbow, it's an A for anarchy. Now, do I believe we should burn down the world and create violence? No, no, no. But then again, it comes back to this belief that you're empowered to live your own life and as long as you're not going out there, intentionally breaking laws, and hurting people, you should be out to do whatever the fuck that you want to do. Very, very, very punk-rock. Live your life the way you want to live your life no matter what polite society says that you should do. That's what the A for anarchy means.
Stay tuned next week for part 2.
Luke Michael Howard PhD
Toronto and Ottawa Clinical Hypnotist